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LegalCornerTM - Probate and Avoiding Probate F.A.Q.'s

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Q.How much does probate cost?

A.The fees vary from state to state. In California, an estate will generally incur attorney fees, executor fees, court fees, and appraisal fees. The maximum fees that can be charged by an attorney and executor are set by law and shown in the table below.

Estate Value
(less than)
Statutory Fee for the
Attorney and Executor
*If a lawsuit is filed against the estate, or if problems arise with the estate's taxes, the attorney and executor can ask for, and the court is likely to approve, additional fees.

It is important to note that the statutory fees that may be charged by both the attorney, and the executor, are calculated on the fair market value of the estat's assets, and NOT on the equity. For example, if your $500,000 home has a mortgage of $250,000, the statutory fee payable to the attorney and the executor will be based on $500,000 and each will be entited to $13,000.

In addition to the Attorney fees and Executor Fees above, there are relatively small filing fees charged by the Court. In California, the filing fee has been simplified. As of January 1, 2008, the fee charged to file a probate petition is $320, but may be slightly higher in some counties due to surcharges.

In addition to the attorney fees, executor fees, and probate court fees, the estate will also have to under go an appraisal by a probate referees. In California, probate referees typically receive a fee of .1 percent of the fair market value of the assets requiring appraisal.

Copyright 1999-2019 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.