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Pinellas County Probate Attorney Fees and Costs

Everyone involved in Pinellas County probate cases wants to know about the fees and costs in probate. Here is the manner in which Pinellas County probate attorney James W. Martin charges attorney’s fees in probate cases.

Hourly Rate

St. Petersburg probate attorney James W. Martin charges probate attorney’s fees at an hourly rate, not a percentage of the value of the estate. This results in a reasonable probate attorney’s fee for his probate clients. (His hourly rate is lower than the median hourly rate charged by other Florida attorneys. The Florida Bar 2022 Economics and Law Office Management Survey reported that more than a third of the lawyers in Florida charge an hourly rate greater than four hundred dollars an hour. His rate is less than that.)

James W. Martin has been able to charge a lower hourly probate attorney’s fee because of his experience and efficiency developed over many years of law practice. He has taught Law Practice Management at Stetson College of Law and has written numerous articles for lawyers on law practice management and the use of technology in law practice.

No Percentage Attorney Fee

St. Petersburg probate attorney James W. Martin does not charge an attorney’s fee based on the size of the estate, even though the Florida Probate Code would allow him to do so. He charges fees only based on his hourly rate times the number of hours he spends on the case.

Attorney’s Hourly Fee Agreement

When the client engages James W. Martin as the probate attorney, an Attorney’s Hourly Fee Agreement may be signed and filed with the probate Court in order to memorialize the agreement regarding fees. The agreement is usually signed electronically by the client and other persons bearing the impact of the fees.


The Clerk of Court charges a filing fee to open a formal probate proceeding, and other costs are incurred in probate, such as bond premiums, filing fees, recording fees, publication fees, title search fees, FedEx, couriers, copies, postage, process server fees, and private investigator fees. These costs are paid by the client in addition to the probate attorney’s fees.

Selection of Attorney

It is important to keep in mind that the selection of the attorney is made at the discretion of the personal representative, who is not required to select the attorney who prepared the will.

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