Fees for an attorney to assist the administrator in probating an estate are determined by the size of the estate, the complexity of the estate, the assets of the estate, and fees charged by the attorney involved.
The probate court publishes an online calculator which will calculate guideline fees established by the court based on the value of the assets of the estate. The guidelines work well in many situations, but there are many situations in which it does not, for example where the estate is large but simple or small but complex.
For example, real estate may be a significant asset of the estate. Liquidating one piece of desirable real estate property valued at $100,000 is much easier than liquidating ten undesirable properties at $10,000 each.
Or, for example, real property can be transferred by a certificate of transfer to one or more heirs. The time and effort is much less than if the property must be sold to third parties through individual proceedings separate from the estate case.
Each attorney charges for his services at his own rate. Retaining an attorney is like obtaining any service where it is difficult to compare providers, such as hair stylists.