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How Much Does Probate Cost?

Last Will and TestamentProbate can be a lengthy and time consuming process. It can also be a costly one. Attorneys representing personal representatives are entitled to "reasonable compensation" for their services. What is considered reasonable is to a great extent the price you and your attorney agree on for administration.

However, a court could also examine fees charged in certain circumstances and make their own determination as to whether the fee is reasonable. Florida Statute §733.6171 provides some guidelines for what courts will consider reasonable for probate attorneys. Fees are based on the value of the estate including income earned during the probate process.

Below are the guidelines provided by statute to give you an idea of what probate administration could cost depending on the estate size:

  • $40k or less: $1,500.00
  • $40k-$70k: $2,250.00
  • $70k-$100k: $3,000.00
  • $100k-$1M: $3,000.00 plus 3% on excess of $100k
  • $1M-$3M: 2.5%
  • $3M-$5M: 2.0%
  • $5M-$10M: 1.5%
  • Over $10M: 1.0%

These fees are just base amounts for ordinary services provided by a probate attorney. There can be additional fees for any "extraordinary services." Fla. Statute §733.6171 provides of complete list of what can be considered extraordinary services including the sale or disposition of real property, tax advice, and preparation of estate tax returns. A more complete list can be found by examining the statute.

As you can begin to see, in certain circumstances, the probate process can be extremely costly. Careful planning to avoid or minimize these fees can provide an immediate return while giving you more control over their assets. If you find yourself in a situation where probate is necessary, consult with an attorney to minimize costs and eliminate potential surprise fees. Don't overpay.

Contact our office for a full appraisal on the cost of your probate case.

Categories: Estate Planning, Probate
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