Extraordinary Fees Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Extraordinary Fees, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Extraordinary Fees?

n. An attorney’s fees from the administration of a deceased’s estate or for work beyond the normal call of duty. These fees are additional to the usual statutory or court-approved legal fees and the attorney must provide proof in order to justify the claim. It is up to the judge’s discretion to award extraordinary fees.

History and Meaning of Extraordinary Fees

Extraordinary Fees are additional fees paid to attorneys for their work beyond the regular court-approved legal fees. The estate administrator or executor usually pays these fees, and the court must approve them. The judge will only award extraordinary fees if the attorney can demonstrate that the fees are reasonable, necessary, and not excessive. Whilst the circumstances where extraordinary fees are appropriate may vary dramatically, some common examples are where an estate is especially large and complex, and the attorney put in a considerable independent effort beyond the normal scope of their engagement.

Examples of Extraordinary Fees

  1. An attorney charged $50,000 as extraordinary fees for compelling a former executor to return a half-acre property to an estate controlled by two sisters.

  2. Jane, a lawyer, was appointed to represent a minor's interests in a will and trust dispute. Jane was awarded $10,000 in extraordinary fees as she spent more time than anticipated working on the case as the stakes were high.

  3. A lawyer charged extraordinary fees for defending against a will contest from an individual who was not a party to the original proceedings.

Legal Terms Similar to Extraordinary Fees

  1. Normal call of duty - regular tasks that an attorney is expected to perform.
  2. Statutory fees - fees fixed by law, generally on a per-case basis.
  3. Estate administration - the process of managing and distributing the assets of a deceased person's estate, which usually involves appointing an executor or administrator.