How Do You Find the Current Average Cost of Probate?


Quick Answer

Find the average cost of probate by totaling elements of probate costs including court fees, attorney fees, accounting and appraisal fees, and fees paid to estate’s executor. Probate costs vary greatly and can be influenced more by location than the legal work’s complexity, according to LegalMatch.

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Full Answer

Factors influencing the cost of probate include an estate’s size and complexity, inheritor disputes and the existence of a will or trust. The cost of probate is often based on the organization of the estate, as the time it takes accountants and attorneys to find and value assets increases the probate’s cost. As of June 2015, the total cost of probate typically ranges from 3 to 7 percent of the estate’s value, explains FreeAdvice.

Probate court costs vary by state and can cost up to $3,000. Fees go to referees appraising the estate’s value, who typically receive 0.1 percent of the assets. States have outlines showing reasonable attorney fees based on the estate’s value. Some states place limits on executor and attorneys’ fees, limited to 2 to 4 percent of the estate value. For example, in California, executor and attorneys’ fees start at 4% of a $100,000 estate and decrease as the estate value increases, notes LegalMatch. Lawyers are not required to charge fees according to an estate’s value; in most cases, a person hiring the probate lawyer should negotiate a flat fee or hourly rate, recommends Nolo.

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