Probate is a process for dealing with the estate (the debts and assets) left when someone dies. 

A contingent probate means the lawyer is willing to receive a portion of the estate in payment for completing the process. 


Your lawyer is highly motivated to be successful since payment depends on success.

How much does a contingent probate cost?

Most probate lawyers with significant experience in contested probate cases (cases where everyone is fighting) will end up charging many hours to complete a probate.  They cannot predict how long a case will take nor how many hours will be worked on the case.  In other words, it could cost a lot.

This law firm, Jac Schuster PLLC, has a lot of experience securing a positive outcome in probate cases, even contested probate cases.

We charge typically as low as 25%, and up to 50% in very high risk cases. 

The amount depends on the risk of recovery.  If there is no risk, then we may go that low.  If the risk is high, then the percentage will be higher.  If we see that the expenses to recover are going to be high, we will need a higher percentage.

Also, we almost always require that basic costs are covered up front. From experience, we have learned that success requires your serious attention, and therefore if you provide some investment, you are a serious client for us, and our likelihood of winning goes up. So, usually, some cash is required to start the case, expect a minimum of $500 to start in addition to the percentage above. We will know how much after we look at your case.  All court costs will be your responsibility.  We have lenders who can help even with this small amount of fees.

Why would contingent probate make sense?

A contingent probate makes sense for you in many scenarios:

  • You have no money to pay a lawyer for a long battle up front

  • It is worth the risk since you are not risking a massive amount of legal fees with no result

  • A large estate is on the line, and you need the best lawyers, those used to winning big battles

  • The estate may be small, and even though there is no battle, it will take a lot of legal work to distribute, and contingent probate is simply easier

  • A contingent case needs to have assets greater than $250,000

Call us so we can get a look at your case.