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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Legal fees survey for 2019 results are here

Each year, Canadian Lawyer Magazine surveys lawyers across the country about what they are charging for services. The magazine compiles the responses and publishes them. All areas of law are covered, but obviously I am particularly interested - and I believe readers of this blog will be interested - in what is being charged for wills-related matters. Take a look below.

The statistics are broken down by various geographical areas of the country, and by the size of the firm that does the work. The numbers I'm giving below are the averages presented in their report.

For a simple will for an individual, the national average is $300-400. In a firm with 1-4 lawyers, the fee averages $300-400 and in a firm with 5-25 lawyers, the fee averages $401-500.

For a complex will for an individual, the national average is $800- 1,100. In a firm with 1-4 lawyers, the fee averages $800-1,100 and in a firm with 5-25 lawyers, the fee averages $1,100-1,700.

For a complex will for a couple, the national average is $1,100-1,400. That appears to be the fee regardless of the size of the firm.

For probating a will, the national average is $2,500-3,500. For a firm with 1-4 lawyers, the average is $2,500-3,500 and for a firm with 5-25 lawyers, the fee is $4,500-6,500.

For a civil (as opposed to criminal) 3-day trial, the average across the country is $55,000-60,000. For a firm with 1-4 lawyers, it is under $55,000. These numbers regarding civil trials are not necessarily for estate litigation but can be for any kind of civil trial.

You will find that most lawyers still quote an hourly rate for some services. The following shows the national average for an hourly rate for lawyers specifically in wills and estates matters, based on the number of years the lawyer has been practicing:
up to 1 year = $213 per hour
2-5 years = $252 per hour
6-10 years = $307 per hour
11-20 years = $324 per hour
20+ years = 436 per hour

Because these are averages, you'll find some lawyers above the stated number and some below. I hope this is informative for anyone who is shopping around for a lawyer right now.



2 comments:

  1. Lynne
    For probating a will, the national average is $2,500-3,500. For a firm with 1-4 lawyers, the average is $2,500-3,500 and for a firm with 5-25 lawyers, the fee is $4,500-6,500.
    Can you explain the difference with a small law firm and a larger one using the example of a simple Estate? ie a modest property and 4 GIC's and some cash $20K

    Webeye

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There usually isn't a difference in the quality of the work based solely on the size of the firm. There are good lawyers in all size firms, and iffy ones as well. A big part of the difference in price is that small firms have less overhead to pay for. Big firms tend to be downtown where rents are higher, parking is expensive, and they have lots more people to pay, including secretaries, paralegals, accounting staff, etc. In addition, in small firms, the lawyers tend to have more freedom to reduce fees on any given matter. For example, we publish on our website the fee we charge to probate a will. However, if I feel the estate is too small to warrant that fee, I have the freedom to reduce it without having to answer to any billing committee.

      Lynne

      Delete

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