There are many third-party costs associated with filing a California probate proceeding. These costs are in addition to professional document preparation services or attorney fees should you hire a professional to help you.

A typical estate may incur $1,000 to $2,000 in court costs and other mandated fees. A list of common third-party costs in a typical full California probate are as follows:

  1. Court filing fee for initial Petition: The current court filing fee for a Petition for probate is $435.00 for most courts. Many courts also charge an additional court reporter fee of $30.00. The counties of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Francisco charge slightly higher fees.
  2. Lodging Will – Most courts charge a fee of $50 to lodge the original will.
  3. Newspaper publication – The fee charged by each newspaper varies. Sometimes there are several choices of newspapers that are proper for publication, allowing a person to shop around for the cheapest one. Other times, there may be only one choice. The average fee for publication is $250, however with smaller newspapers, the fee can run as high as $600-$700.
  4. Certified copy of Letters – approximately $25 per certified copy. A representative should get 2-3 certified copies of the issued Letters.
  5. Probate Referee – The probate referee is the person who appraises the assets of the estate. They are allowed to charge statutory fees of .01% of the gross value of all assets they appraise. In addition, they can charge nominal fees for mileage and copies.
  6. Court filing fee for Petition for Final Distribution – This fee is the same as for the initial Probate Petition, currently $435.00 for most courts. Many courts also charge an additional court reporter fee of $30.00. The counties of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Francisco charge slightly higher fees.
  7. Certified copy of Order – Approximately $25
  8. Recording Fee – Approximately $30-$50.