If you are in the process of estate planning or are executing someone’s will, you may wonder how much probate costs. Many factors determine the final cost of probate, and it is sometimes challenging to estimate final costs ahead of time. The cost of probate depends on the individual estate and its complexity. Learn more about the various factors that determine the cost of probate below.
Who is responsible for paying probate costs?
Probate expenses and fees are paid out of the established estate banking account before funds are distributed to the beneficiaries at the closing of the probate process. The executor or family representative is not responsible for paying probate costs.
Probate attorney statutory fee schedule
Florida has a suggested fee schedule listed in state statute 733.617. The value of the estate determines the fee schedule, as shown below:
Estates valued at $40,000 or less—$1,500
Estates valued between $40,000 and $70,000—$2,250
Estates valued between $70,000 and $100,000—$3,000
Estates valued between $100,000 and $900,000—3%
Estates valued between $1 million and $3 million—2.5%
Estates valued between $3 million and $5 million—2%
Estates valued between $5 million and $10 million—1.5%
Estates valued between $10 million and above—1%
Other probate costs
The fee schedule above is not all-encompassing. Other costs depend on the estate’s complexity and work involved with the will’s execution. Due to this, a probate attorney may include additional charges or use an alternative fee schedule. This allows reasonable compensation for the complexity of the estate, regardless of its value. For instance, a small estate that accrued a lot of debt and has many beneficiaries may take more time than handling a large estate with a sole beneficiary. Your Brevard County probate attorney will discuss your options and the estimated costs before you make your decision. Other expenses may include:
● Court and filing fees
● Accounting fees
● Out-of-state probate costs
● Home and property appraisals
● Estate maintenance, such as a mortgage or landscaping fees
Other services beyond the traditional scope of probate may require additional fees. These include the cost of handling a contested will, contested credit claims, or tax filing advice.
A probate attorney must disclose certain information about their fees before you agree to work together. These disclosures will acknowledge the following:
● The fee schedule is not mandatory or required to be based on the estate’s size.
● The attorney who prepared the will or trust does not need to be the same attorney who executes the will in probate court.
● You can receive summarized hourly billing.
● Fees are up for negotiation between the attorney and the personal representative.
You must acknowledge that you understand these disclosures by signing them. If the attorney doesn’t receive written confirmation of your acknowledgment, the attorney may not get paid by the estate without court approval. While exact probate costs are difficult to determine upfront, an experienced probate attorney can estimate costs based on the estate size and complexity.
Brian W. Hurd, Brevard County probate attorney
All estates that go through a formal probate administration must have a probate attorney, so it is essential that you choose an experienced one. At the Law Office of Brian W. Hurd, we offer flexible payment options to fit your needs. Call us at 321-453-5007 for a consultation to discuss your estate planning options.