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How much does a wills, probate and estate lawyer cost?

$300 to $400 per hour

    Cost of wills and estate lawyer in Australia

    Wills and estates are something that most of us do not like to think about, but they are a necessary part of life. Having your will or estate in order is the last loving act you can do for your family. Taking the time to put your will and estate in order before your time is up makes life much easier for those you leave behind. This is especially true if you have a large number of assets and holdings. The cost of a will depends on the size of the assets. For cases that involve up to $30,000, the cost of the process can be as low as $500 to $1000. For estates that involve $10 million, or over, the fee is around $15,500

    Many factors can affect the cost of both filing and enforcing a will or estate. Many states have ceilings on fees that lawyers can charge when executing a will. Some lawyers charge by developing packages that include a certain amount of services, while others charge an hourly rate. On average, a wills, estate and probate lawyer will cost you between $300 and $400 an hour.  

    Below is the average cost of an initial consultation in different Australian states:

    State Average Cost 
    NSW $360
    VIC $370
    WA $440
    SA $275
    QLD $315


    Benefits of hiring a lawyer for will, estate or probate matters

    It is possible to find DIY kits online for filing your will or estate, but there are many reasons why you should not choose this route and depend on an experienced lawyer to make sure that everything is covered. The first reason why you should hire an experienced lawyer is that laws differ in some states and localities. DIY kits are generic, and might not be legal in the area where you live. Another reason to hire an experienced lawyer is that they have seen many different types of circumstances and know what to do in each case.

    Factors impacting the cost when hiring a wills, estate & probate lawyer

    Several factors affect the cost when hiring a probate lawyer. Here are a few of them.

    Length of the case

    The cost of making a will does not differ significantly from location to location, but when it comes time to execute the will, matters can get long and complicated. The more the will is contested, the longer it will take, and the higher the cost will be for everyone.

    The lawyer’s experience and skills

    The lawyer’s experience and skills play a significant role in how much they charge. You can expect to pay considerably less for a lawyer that is just starting out and works for themselves, than for a probate lawyer with 20 years of experience working for a larger firm. You can also expect to benefit from that experience at a higher cost. The best way to find out if a lawyer’s fees are reasonable is to call around and compare pricing for different levels of service.

    The complexity of the case

    The cost of probate goes up with the complexity of the case. For instance, if your assets include stocks, bonds, and other intangible assets, the case can become considerably more complicated. Probate fees are typically the same, but the time it takes to resolve the case, and the research can significantly increase as the number of assets and work involved goes up, too. The solicitor’s fee for executing a will differs according to the case’s circumstances. 

    No win, no fee lawyers

    You can find lawyers that will not charge a fee if you do not collect anything in the case. This typically only applies to contested Wills where you have a chance to make a significant gain. Sometimes, no win, no fee lawyers will take the case because they can easily see that they can collect a certain amount based on the assets involved in the case.

    Wills cost

    The cost of the will depends on the amount of money involved, types of assets, and whether there are any loans, liens, or liabilities that must be taken care of first. Here are some examples of what it might cost to make a will. Probate filing fees will also be included in the costs. 

    How much does a will cost to make?

    The cost of making a will is significantly more than making it with a DIY kit. A DIY kit can cost as little as $30, but the average cost for making a will with a lawyer is around $1,000. If you have anything other than a simple case and few assets, you should consider the services of a lawyer.

    The average cost of updating a will

    Wills should be updated from time to time because circumstances in our life change. It is always important to have your will up-to-date in terms of the benefactors, amount of assets, and how you want them to be distributed. Most wills can be updated for a few hundred dollars. 

    Probate costs

    There are several different types of costs that are involved in probate proceedings.

    What costs are involved in probate?

    Probate will filing fees are uniform and usually only a few hundred dollars. There is also the solicitor’s fee for executing a will, which is set on a sliding scale based on the size of the assets. Solicitors fees range between $560 and $15,500.

    Who is liable to pay?

    Most of the time, the fees for executing a will come out of the estate itself, which is why lawyers are only allowed to charge a certain amount based on the size of the assets. If someone contests a will and does not win, they will more likely have to pay for attorneys’ fees associated with the dispute.

    How to hire a wills, estate and probate lawyer

    Hiring an estate lawyer is an important decision because you need to have someone you can trust. You want to make sure that this person is qualified to carry out your last wishes when you will not be here to oversee the proceedings. Here are a few tips on hiring an estate lawyer.

    How to create an accurate estimate

    Estate and will lawyers are different from other branches the legal practice. Many of the fees they can charge are set by the state, and they do not have as much ability to adjust their fees either. The most important thing you can do to assure an accurate estimate is to make sure that you disclose all of your assets and provide all of the information requested in a timely manner. 

    Licencing and qualifications

    To practice law in Australia, you must be admitted to the Supreme Court of an Australian State or Territory. You must also be a member of the Australian Bar Association. These are the minimum requirements for practising the law of any kind in Australia, and the attorney you hire should have at least these qualifications.

    How to save money hiring a wills, estate and probate lawyer

    Saving money should not be your first concern when writing or executing a will. You want the job done right, but there are some services that you need to check into that can help some people save a little bit of money. Here are a few of them.

    • Free will service for pensioners
    • Free will services for members of the military 
    • Free will services for those who are disabled or low-income


    * The cost data is based on Oneflare and third-party sources


    What is the cost of making a will with a lawyer?

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    The cost of making a will with a lawyer depends on the assets size and the case complexity. For a civil case with under $30,000 of liquid assets, you can expect to pay around $560. If you have a large, multimillion-dollar estate with many different types of investment instruments, then you can expect to pay upwards of $10,000 or more.

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