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Probate Law FAQ: How much does the probate process cost?

Posted on Wed Feb 13, 2019, on Probate and Estate Administration

Probate Lawyer Cherry Hill, NJ

If you do not have a living trust, your heirs will likely have to probate your assets following your death. The probate process varies by state, but is mandatory when only a will is left, or nothing at all, and it can be helpful to have a probate lawyer Cherry Hill, NJ offers on your side. The financial costs associated with the probate process can also differ and will largely depend on the factors of the estate. The following is a general overview of some of the fees you might expect during the probate process.

Court Fees

Court fees are dictated by state laws. You might pay anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. These fees must be paid for and are not optional.

Personal Representative Fees

Every state also lists their fees for a personal representative. This is the person who will handle the estate and distribute assets to the heirs. Some states will ask the personal representative to be paid a reasonable fee. Others stipulate a fee equal to a percentage of the probated assets. It is also possible for a personal representative to ask for a certain fee for their provided services. The court might order this if they have gone above and beyond the standards.

Lawyer Fees

You don’t necessarily need to have a lawyer for probating an estate, but it can help. If you do have a lawyer, you will need to pay their fees. These significantly vary, but are usually between $250 and $500 per hour.

Accounting Fees

Depending on the total value of the estate and the type of assets involved will depend on how much you may have to pay for an accountant. For example, accounting fees may increase when there are multiple types of stocks, bonds, CDs, and bank accounts. If the estate is taxable, the accountant might also charge a fee for the preparation and filing of state or federal tax returns.

Appraisal Fees

If there are assets of a significant value involved in an estate, you may have to ask an appraiser to determine their worth. Examples of these assets include antiques, jewelry, vehicles, property, and businesses. Appraisal fees may start at a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars or more.

Bond Fees

In some scenarios, a personal representative will need to pay for and post a bond. This amount will be set by a probate judge. In general, a bond will need to be posted unless a will explicitly states that it does not.

Other Fees

In addition to the above fees, there may be other probate costs involves. This could include the cost of postage, storage, insurance, shipping, moving, and so forth. In general, you can expect the costs of probate to range between 3 and 10 percent of the estate. This does not include any taxes owed. Compare these costs to a revocable living trust that may cost between 1 and 5 percent of the estate.

Contact Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and probate costs.

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