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How Much Does Probate Cost?

According to online law resource LegalZoom, Probate costs depend on the size of the estate but they generally run between 3% and 7% of the estate's value.

Keep in mind the estate pays most fees, and not the executor.

Some of the key fees are:


Attorney fees. California is a state in which the fee is set by statute. Below is the break down:

  • 4% of the first $100,000 of the estate.

  • 3% of the next $100,000.

  • 2% of the next $800,000.

  • 1% of the next $9 million.

  • 0.5% of the next $15 million.

So, for example, a $1 million estate would rack up $23,000 in attorney fees.

Executor compensation. In California, it's the same rate as the attorney fee for the executor. Therefore, the same $1 million estate will cost the estate an additional $23,000 in executor compensation. However, the person acting as executor may choose to waive these fees.

Court fees. Courts will set filing fees and other costs for paperwork needed to initiate and continue probate proceedings. In California, the filing fee is $435.

A probate bond. The bond may be refunded after the probate proceedings are complete, minus any nonrefundable fees.

Other fees. Fees for litigation, tax preparation, commission for selling property and other services may be charged to the estate.

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