While it will vary depending upon the attorney and the Executor involved, the property owned by the person who passed away, the magnitude of creditor claims, and disagreements which may arise between the heirs, the cost of probate can run anywhere from less than $2,000 to many times that amount. Court filing fees, county recording fees, and the cost of publishing a Notice to Creditors will usually add about $300 to $500 to that figure.
On top of that, the Executor is also entitled to “reasonable compensation” which will vary depending on the amount of time that he or she is required to spend on the process. And the services of appraisers may also be required adding to the total.
And for married couples, these numbers are nearly doubled because of the requirement of a separate probate proceeding as each spouse passes away. Also, if the person who passed away owned property in more than one state, legal proceedings will be required in each state unless a Family Trust was set up to avoid probate altogether.
At Peters Patchin & Associates, we typically look for the least expensive probate process that might be available. In typical circumstances, we are able to handle the entire proceeding (including all of the related expenses mentioned, above) for a total of just $1,995.
Especially for married couples who own their own home, the cost of setting up a Family trust is an excellent investment that will, in the long run, save several times the amount invested. It will also allow for inheritances to be accomplished in privacy and far more rapidly than is possible under a probate proceeding.