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Stephen G.
Stephen G., Sr Income Tax Expert
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 7198
Experience:  Extensive Experience with Tax, Financial & Estate Issues
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How do lawyers determine their fees that they charge for

Customer Question

how do lawyers determine their fees that they charge for their services
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: new your state
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: NY
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: it considers a trust that was administered with me as the sole trustee
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Stephen G. replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is***** goal is to give you a complete & accurate answer. I am working on your request now & I will respond as soon as possible.

Expert:  Stephen G. replied 1 month ago.

Normally they bill by the time spent applied to a rate per hour.

Often, their rates vary depending upon the services they are providing; for example time in Court is normally billed at a higher rate.

They may also have a contingency fee based upon the amount recovered, for example 1/3 of the recovery amount, + out of pocket expenses for travel, expert fees, appraisals, etc.

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

Please remember to rate my response.

Thanks very much,

Steve G.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
what do you mean by filed or reported ?
all he did was transfer the deed to my name and paid the filing fee to transfer and record the deed
at the county clerks office
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
why am I discussing this with a tax professional ?
Expert:  Stephen G. replied 1 month ago.

Actually, I'm a retired CPA, not just a tax professional. I didn't determine the classification of your question. However, I had several attorneys for clients, so I am quite familiar with how they determine their fees.

"Filed or reported" is just a "canned phrase" that the site uses to try and determine what type of issue/problem a customer has.

So the attorney would have had to prepare a new deed and record it as you stated.

Do you feel that his fee was excessive?

Normally an attorney would have a "set fee" to prepare a deed and another "set fee" to have it recorded, plus any out of pocket expenses, such as the filing fee, deed stamps, etc.

Also, the fee could vary based upon the type of property (residential or commercial), whether or not a title search was necessary, and whether or not title insurance was required.

If you feel that his fee was excessive, you should ask the attorney to explain how he arrived at the fee. Often, there is more involved than meets the eye. I don't know the nature of the transaction you are referring to (gift, sale, inheritance, etc.).

Let me know if you have any additional questions. I'd be happy to respond further if you do.

Please remember to rate my response.

Thanks very much,

Steve G.