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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38892
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a friend, she speaks Mandarin, English not so good,

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I have a friend, she speaks Mandarin, English not so good, She has a proposal from a Law group "Preparation of spousal property petition in the estate of ....". for a flat fee of $5,000. It looks like it's Using Form DE-221, she has a will and it is not contested, and there are no children. Only asset is a house, of which bank owns 50%.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: This is Sacramento CA, My main question: Is this a reasonable fee? Looks like a coupe hours work.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: NO, he send a copy of the filled out form with the proposal
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The are some depts, that may or may not get paid, like medical, but not iincluded in proposal


I am a member of the State Bar of California, the Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside Counties), the Bar of the U.S. Tax Court, the California and National Associations of Realtors, and I have comprehensive knowledge of California estate law.

You ask if a $5,000 fee is reasonable for a spousal property petition. Yes, it's reasonable, because, an attorney never knows what may suddenly arise in the representation that is unexpected. Clients frequently omit information, either because they don't know that it's important, or they are embarrassed to disclose it immediately to the lawyer or paralegal -- who is a stranger.

That said, if all you want is help filling out the petition that you will present yourself, then it's probably twice what I would charge. But, every attorney is different, and we all set our own prices based upon market conditions.

If you need more personal attention than can be provided in this public forum, I can arrange to send you my personal contact info, and we can take the discussion offline into a confidential setting. Please let me know if you're interested.

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