Did you know probate costs Americans $2 billion per year?
It’s a long and expensive process, but you can avoid it if you know what to do.
Having a last will and testament is the minimum. However, some still go through probate. A revocable living trust is another way to avoid it.
However, 55 percent of Americans have neither. In that case, probate is the only way to go, even if it’s costly.
How much do you have to pay for probate fees? Read on to find out the various costs you should expect.
You have to pay a fee every time you go to probate court. However, it varies according to your state.
The probate fees can range from a hundred to thousands of dollars. These depend on the number of forms you’re filing and the complexity of the estate. In general, you have to pay for the filing fees, certificate fees, and notifications.
The filing fee can be anywhere from $50 to $1,200. It’s the initial payment to open a petition and start the process. The size of the estate contributes to the total cost.
A certificate can cost $5 to $20 per certified copy, which you’ll need for specific institutions. Others, however, may accept a photocopy.
Some certificates you’ll likely need are the Letters of Testamentary or Administration. These authorize a specified Executor or Administrator to act for the deceased estate owner.
Notify the next of kin, heirs, and beneficiaries when settling an estate. You may have to send certified mail or put up a public notice. Doing these can cost you $10 to $300.
Attorney’s Fees and Accounting Fees
Some states require you to get a probate lawyer, although most states don’t. You or your family won’t have to pay out of pocket, as the estate covers the fees.
The lawyers can charge per hour or a flat rate. In some states, they can charge a percentage of the estate value.
Executor And Bond Fees
Decedents write a will that includes a specified amount for the nominated executor. If this provision is absent, however, state law applies.
Your state’s law decides the amount the executor gets. It may set fees depending on a certain percentage of the property’s value. For example, the total may amount to four percent of the first $100,000 and three percent of the succeeding $100,000.
Other states may define a “reasonable fee” without a specific amount. Executors can also charge for reimbursement of their expenses, including travel costs, supplies, and more.
Learn Your State’s Probate Fees
As mentioned above, the state law dictates the probate fees. Consult your local probate court to find out the necessary payments. You may also find out about other costs to pay, such as appraisal, business valuation, and so on.
However, getting a proper probate lawyer can help. Look for reputable ones online to ease the process.
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