State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 851 > 851.40


851.40 Basis for attorney fees.


(1) Any attorney performing services for the estate of a deceased person in any proceeding under chs. 851 to 879, including a proceeding for informal administration under ch. 865, shall be entitled to just and reasonable compensation for such services.


(2) Any personal representative, heir, beneficiary under a will or other interested party may petition the court to review any attorney's fee which is subject to sub. (1). If the decedent died intestate or the testator's will contains no provision concerning attorney fees, the court shall consider the following factors in determining what is a just and reasonable attorney's fee:


(a) The time and labor required.


(b) The experience and knowledge of the attorney.


(c) The complexity and novelty of the problems involved.


(d) The extent of the responsibilities assumed and the results obtained.


(e) The sufficiency of assets properly available to pay for the services, except that the value of the estate may not be the controlling factor.

851.40 - ANNOT.

History: 1975 c. 329; 1993 a. 490.

851.40 - ANNOT.

Cross-reference: See s. 865.16 (1m) review of attorney fees by the probate registrar.

851.40 - ANNOT.

An attorney's failure to communicate with one of the heirs, in violation of a court order, was an appropriate basis for reducing attorney fees. In Matter of Estate of Huehne, 175 Wis. 2d 33, 498 N.W.2d 870 (Ct. App. 1993).

851.40 - ANNOT.

An attorney's fee based on a contract to pay the attorney 4% of the gross estate violated sub. (2) (e). Reduction was a proper exercise of judicial discretion. Estate of Konopka, 175 Wis. 2d 100, 498 N.W.2d 853 (Ct. App. 1993).

851.40 - ANNOT.

Sub. (1) did not authorize payment for an attorney's services when it was in the estate's interest to let the interested parties litigate an issue and when, if the attorney's position prevailed, no property would have been added to the estate. Bell v. Neugart, 2002 WI App 180, 256 Wis. 2d 969, 650 N.W.2d 52, 01-2533.

851.40 - ANNOT.

Professional responsibility and probate practices. Martin, 1975 WLR 911.