Why is Probate Court So Expensive?


Hi, this is Marc Herbert, founder of Herbert Law Office with the Question of the week, which is why is probate court so expensive? Well, first of all, probate court is an area of the law where your assets, especially your house, bank accounts, vehicles and other valuable property are reviewed by a judge who never met you. And they assess the value of those assets in a court setting.

So for an example, if you have about $300,000 worth of those assets, you’re going to end up paying court fees and publication fees, which are going to total somewhere around $3,000. In addition, the court usually orders a bond to be paid by your administrator. In my example, that would be another $3,000 out of your estate, away from your heirs.

Then on top of that, there’s going to be what’s called a statutory fee, which is a minimum fee charged by the attorney in probate court. In this example, the attorney would end up with $9,000 for services provided to your loved ones. But there’s a lot of attorneys that also file and pursue what are called extraordinary fees. Now, under the code, pretty basic services are considered as extraordinary.

So there’s lots of attorneys who will essentially double the statutory fee. Call it extraordinary fees and the court will go ahead and sign off on that. There’s also attorney in town who charges the clients for postage, for copies and things of that nature. So every dollar that goes to the court or goes to the bond company or goes to the attorney in probate court is money that should go to your heirs.

Probably the best way to avoid probate court and all those expenses is to create a family wealth plan at Herbert Law Office. What we do is we bring you in, we talk about your current situation. We talk about your options. We answer all your questions, and then we build a plan that’s customized for you and your family. You can avoid all that expense and probate court all the time, wasted all that stress by building a family wealth plan.

I hope this information has been helpful for you and we’ll talk to you real soon.