Probate Costs

Probate Costs (1)

Thursday, 26 November 2015 16:46

What Does Probate Cost in California?

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Wills, Trusts, Probate, Estate Planning – What does it all mean?

 

What Does Probate Cost? 

In California, attorneys may charge a “statutory fee”.  This is a fee where the attorney charges an amount that represents a percentage of the value of all the probate assets.  However, the attorney does not have to charge the full statutory rate should they choose not to do so.  But, it should be noted that if the attorney performs “extraordinary services”, the court may allow additional payments in addition to the compensation provided by Section 10810 (of the California Probate Code), the court may allow additional compensation for extraordinary services by the attorney for the personal representative in an amount the court determines is just and reasonable.

California Probate Code sets the rate currently as:

  • 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate
  • 3% of the next $100,000
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the next $9 million
  • .5% of the next $15 million

Keep in mind that the value of the estate is based on the value of the asset, and not its equity.  Therefore, if you own a home valued by the appraiser at $500,000 and you have a mortgage balance of $400,000 – the value is not $100,000 but the full $500,000.  Also, for example, let’s say you also have other property such as accounts and a car or two (worth an additional $150,000) that raise the total value of the estate to $650,000.

So the attorney probate fees for the estate break down like this:

  • 4% of the first $100,000                                 = $4,000
  • 3% of the next $100,000                                = $3,000
  • 2% of the remaining $450,000                     = $9,000

For a total fee of $16,000

So given everything we know now, let’s see what the potential costs will be for a simple $650,000 estate.  This can be any combination of probate property, but let’s say the home is $500,000 (not difficult in California) and an additional $150,000 in probate property.  Please keep in mind that fees given are approximate and may vary by location, changes in laws, or other factors.

  • $400 Court filing fee
  • $650 appraisal fee
  • $150 publication fee
  • $16,000 attorney fees
  • $16,000 executor fees (potential)
  • $400 fee to file Petition for Final Distribution
  • Total of $17,600 to $33,600

So you see that an average cost of $1,000 to $3,500 for a Revocable Living Trust Centered Estate Plan (plus whatever cost of Trust Administration after the death(s) of the Trustor(s) – the cost will vary depending on complexity) is far more affordable than the cost of a $10,000 to $30,000 probate.

See lots of estate planning information on my website at: www.myestate-plan.com

Feel free to call today and we can start planning

Dan Powell

619-980-2297

 

****Reminder****

Just like my website, nothing in this blog is intended as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. I am licensed to practice law in California.  Further, please remember that I speak in generalities in my blog (and on my website). There are so many different factors that can contribute and completely change the outcome that it would not be practical to discuss all of them here. This is why I speak in generalities. Thanks again for reading.

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This document is for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this is to be considered legal advice.  Nothing in this shall create an attorney/client relationship, nor shall it create a confidential relationship.  If you need legal advice (in California), feel free to contact me or someone licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.  I assume no liability or responsibility for actions taken, or not taken, as a result of reading this information.

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