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Fees and expenses commonly associated with probate

If your loved one appointed you as the executor of his or her will, you may already know that you have a time-consuming and likely difficult journey ahead of you. You certainly want to do your loved one justice by handling the necessary final affairs correctly, and to do that, you need to have the right information for each task you have to complete.

One aspect of the probate process needed to close your loved one's estate involves addressing the applicable costs of the process. Because probate involves legal proceedings, the help of various professionals and even your personal time, it does not always come cheap. However, you do not have to pay for these fees and expenses personally. You can and typically should use estate funds.

Costs involved

Most people want to finish probate as quickly and efficiently as possible. This goal not only allows you as the executor to complete your duties sooner, but it may also cost the estate less in the long run. Of course, quick and easy is not always the name of the game when it comes to probate. Nonetheless, some of the common expenses estates incur during probate include the following:

  • Court fees: California state law will likely dictate the cost of moving the case through the necessary legal proceedings.
  • Accounting fees: You may need professional help in addressing various financial aspects of the estate, and as a result, fees for a professional accountant may apply.
  • Bond fees: As the personal representative, you may have to post a bond as dictated by the probate judge.
  • Appraisal fees: Your loved one may have had various assets that do not have a specific price tag, and as a result, you may need to pay to have them appraised.
  • Business valuation fees: Similar to appraisal fees, if you need to have your loved one's business or business assets valuated, you will need to pay for that service.
  • Miscellaneous fees: Due to the difficulty of knowing what costs each estate will need to address, other miscellaneous fees may also apply to your case.

As the executor, you are also entitled to an executor's fee, which is deducted from the estate and works to compensate you for the time and effort you put into settling your loved one's affairs. In order to better understand the costs of probate and the way to properly pay the expenses, you may want to discuss this topic with your attorney.

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