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Common Probate Costs

Probate, the court process to settle an estate, can be a costly venture. The longer probate takes, the higher the cost will be. Lengthy probates occur most often with large estates, complicated estates, or estates with no Will. Here are some common probate costs your estate may endure.

Legal fees

Attorney fees are usually the largest bulk of probate legal fees. For a larger estate with more heirs, an attorney will have to spend more time assisting the estate executor. Other legal fees include court costs such as filing probate documents, and possible court time.

Personal Representative Payment

Your personal representative is like an employee to your estate. Since he or she may spend a great deal of time settling your affairs, the legal system requires compensation for executor duties. Your executor’s payment may range from a pre-set fee to a percentage of your estate.

Accountant Costs

An accountant is a necessity, especially if an estate is complicated. For an estate with numerous assets, this financial pro is a lifeline to keeping estate finances organized. If estate taxes are due, the accountant will assist the personal representative with the lengthy process of preparing and filing the estate tax return.

Probate Bond

If you do not have a Last Will and Testament, the court will choose a personal representative to settle your affairs. Your personal representative will have to put up a bond as a guarantee that he or she will distribute your assets according to law. Sometimes, even if there is a Will that specifies no bond is needed, a judge may still require a bond fee to be paid.

Additional Costs

Beyond the basic fees of probate are unexpected or unusual costs that your personal representative will have to pay. These costs could include mailing documents, moving property, clean-up for sale of real estate, or property storage fees.


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