5 Costs You Need To Prepare For During The Probate Process
If you have an estate, when you pass away, it is going to go through a probate process. This is not a free process. Here are five costs that you need to be prepared for your estate to pay as it goes through the probate process as well as a few suggestions on how to save costs in these different areas.
Someone will need to be the executor of your will and your estate. You can hire a lawyer or formal executor to do this task; just be aware that they will be awarded a small percentage of your estate in exchange for this service.
The best way to preserve as much of your estate as possible for your heirs is by choosing either a family member or friend to be the executor of your estate who will not charge a fee for performing this job.
#2 Property Appraisals
Next, all of your property, vehicles and expensive collections or items are going to need to be appraised. Generally, the appraiser or probate referee is going to have a maximum or statutory amount that they are allowed to charge you. However, it is important to keep in mind that that amount is a maximum and that you can negotiate a lower fee with the probate referee.
#3 Attorney's Fee
An attorney is going to have to oversee the probate of your will. Just like with the appraiser or the probate referee, there is going to be a statutory maximum that the attorney can charge you for overseeing the probate of your will. Keep in mind that this fee is maximum fee and just like the probate referee, you can always see if the attorney will charge an hourly fee if the probate is really simple or charge a lower fee instead. You could even have your lawyer estimate the cost based on what you know. Try to negotiate this rate and get it in writing in advance.
#4 Tax Fees
With any estate that is large enough, estate taxes are going to need to be paid. Since estate taxes are different than regular income taxes, it is generally a good idea to get a certified public accountant to help your family out with your taxes. If you already have an accountant who does your taxes and understands all of your holdings and property, you may want to contract them to preform estate taxes when you pass away. If you have a working relationship with an accountant, your family may be able to save a little bit on this expense. If all of your paperwork is in order, it should also cost less to have a certified public accountant do your taxes.