About to go through the probate process for a loved one's estate, but have some questions about the cost of it all? If so, you'll want to know the answers to these questions.
Does The Executor Get Paid?
There is a lot of work that needs to be done as the executor of an estate, with it taking up quite a bit of time. If the person who passed away was unorganized, then the executor will have to do a lot of work figuring out the debts that were owed, finding assets, assessing property, and paying creditors. It is possible for the executor to get paid for their time managing the estate.
Your probate attorney can help the executor with how to document their time so that they can get paid for their services. Every estate is different with the amount of work that needs to be done, and local laws define how an executor gets paid.
Is The Probate Process Expensive?
The cost of going through probate will depend on how organized the estate is. The more work that a lawyer has to do will result in more expenses that are billed. Creditors and family members that are fighting for assets can also add on to the cost of probate. These factors will be what determines what you pay in the end.
Be aware that some states have summary probates, which is when the probate process can be done quickly if there are very little assets. This can make probate a very cheap process to handle an estate.
Who Pays For The Probate Process?
All of the costs associated with probate will come out of the deceased person's estate. It is not a cost that the executor or any beneficiary has to pay. However, a probate lawyer typically requires a retainer to cover their costs and expenses associated with handling the probate process. This retainer is put into a trust account, and the cost of a probate lawyer is listed as an expense that is taken off of the top of the person's estate.
What Expenses Are Involved With Probate?
In addition to a probate lawyer's fees, be aware that there are filing fees for simply starting the probate process. There are also publication fees, since you need to create notices about hearings so that beneficiaries and creditors are aware of the probate process. Postage costs will need to be paid for mailings of documents to beneficiaries, creditors, and other interested parties. Items will also need to be appraised and auctioned off if necessary.