Why is Probate Expensive?
There are many steps to California probate. In fact, the process often takes 9-12 months to complete. During probate, creditors can file claims against the estate if the decedent owed them money. Before probate can finish, the personal representative must pay taxes on the estate. Unfortunately, the amount of money some people could inherit can become significantly less by the time probate finishes. The following expenses can arise during the probate process:
- Creditors claiming debts that the deceased person owed them
- Taxes related to the estate
- Statutory fees
- Disputes about the will or other inheritance-related disputes between family members
If there are major disputes about the estate, you should hire a lawyer. For example, if one of your relatives claims that the version of the will you have is invalid, that may be too big a problem to handle by yourself. Likewise, if the deceased person had large debts when they died, you may need a lawyer’s help.
Statutory Fees Affect Probate Costs in California
The biggest factor in the cost of probate is the value of the estate. Probate costs dramatically increase with statutory probate fees. The statutory probate fees in California are 4% of the value of the estate for the first $100,000 and 3% for the next $100,000. For estates valued above $200,000, the percentages you pay for statutory fees are lower. With estates valued $25 million or more, the court has the discretion to determine a “reasonable fee.” You can use our convenient online fee calculator to determine what the statutory fees are for your particular estate. Fortunately, with advance planning, it’s possible to reduce estate statutory fees. For example, you can put some of your assets in a trust that will pass on to your heirs without going through probate.
According to California law, estates valued at less than $166,250 do not need to go through the full probate process. When the estate qualifies for simplified probate proceedings, the heirs can receive their inheritance almost immediately after the 40-day waiting period ends.
A People’s Choice Makes Probate Painless
As mentioned above, completing probate in California can be a long process. Estates over $166,250 can take up to a year to settle. On the other hand, you can usually complete a small estate probate in 2-3 months. No matter whether your estate is large or small, hiring A People’s Choice allows you to avoid paying statutory attorneys fees. As a result, using a professional legal document assistant for probate, you will save thousands of dollars in probate costs.
A People’s Choice has been in business since 1980 and has successfully helped thousands of people just like you. Consequently, your probate will be in good hands. Contact A People’s Choice to prepare your documents so that the probate of your family member’s estate can go by quickly and painlessly, whether it is full probate or simplified probate. Call us today at 800-747-2780.
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