What Everyone Ought to Know About Probate Case Costs and Delays

By: Daniel A. Perry

I was working with a family earlier this year regarding their mother’s probate estate. When I work with a family through the probate court process, I always get asked “what is all of this going to cost?”

Every time I hear that question I respond the same way, “that is almost impossible for me to answer.” Each probate court case is unique, with its own set of issues, heirs, assets, and other matters. Most probate court cases include attorney fees, court costs, executor compensation, appraisal fees, auctioneer fees and other miscellaneous costs. In the end, it can easily total upwards of $10,000 to $20,000.

In addition, most probate matters can last anywhere from six months to two years and sometimes longer. During that time, it can be difficult for the surviving family to access bank accounts, pay bills, and even sell property, such as their mother’s old home, without obtaining approval from the probate court judge first.

I explained to this family that it is very difficult to determine the length of the probate court matter and the estimated cost without first looking through everything involved in the mother’s estate.

This uncertainty means that several of the families I work with prefer to set up their estate in advance with a customized plan so that the uncertainty is eliminated, and the entire probate court process is avoided.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the proper comprehensive estate plan to put in place for your family to ensure a smooth transition of your wealth to the next generation, then please contact our office for a complimentary visit and conversation so that we can discuss your estate planning needs.

We look forward to hearing from you!