Probate Court Proceeding

Probate is a court proceeding designed to create a “final accounting” upon death if a person who passes away in the state of California with more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) of aggregate net assets not titled in a trust. This process takes place in one of two instances: first, if a person passes away leaving a Will without an accompanying trust, or second, if the individual has died intestate, meaning that he or she has not left behind a Will or estate plan of any type or the Will cannot be found.

We can assist you in making sure that your estate avoids probate or guide you through the probate process to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are honored in Probate Court and that you receive what you are entitled to without enduring the burden of facing the probate process on your own.

San Diego Estate Planning

How Much Does Probate Cost?

Probate is an expensive process. In addition to the $435 filing fee and $435 final distribution fee, the estate will be liable for 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 $9,000,000, and .5% of the next $15,000,000. For estates larger than $25,000,000, the court will determine the fee for the amount that is greater than $25,000,000. In probates that are complicated by lawsuits or tax problems, the attorney and executor can ask the judge to approve fees that are higher than those set by state law.

The fees listed below are the California statutory fees used to compensate attorneys and executors in probate cases for various sizes of estates. If both the attorney and the executor receive a fee, the amount paid will be double that shown below.  The value of the estate is determined, in general, by the inventory for the estate.  Debts are not included in determining attorney’s fees, and if a house is appraised at $2,000,000, for example, and it has a mortgage of $900,000, it is still considered a $2,000,000 asset for the purpose of calculating attorney’s fees.

Estate Value
Statutory Fee