There are a few different costs involved in the probate process to keep in mind. They generally fall into the following categories:
1. Executor Fees
Under California law, executors may collect a fee based on a percent of the value of the decedent’s estate. Those fees may be up to 4% of the first 100,000 of the estate, 3% of the $100,000, 2% of the following $800,000, 1% of the next $9,000,000, and .5% for the next $15,000,000.
2. Attorney’s Fees
You may choose to hire an attorney to guide you through the probate process. Their fees are limited according to the California Probate Code, which outlines a maximum fee for ordinary probate services. Attorneys may also charge for “extraordinary services,” which might include managing the sale of an asset in the estate or preparing federal estate tax returns.
3. Filing Fees
The cost to file the initial probate petition in California is $435. It will cost another $435 to file the petition to distribute the estate’s assets after completing the probate process.
4. Publication Fee (for the notice of petition to administer the estate)
The publication fee will vary based on the publication used to publish the notice. Most publications charge somewhere in the ballpark of $250.
5. Probate Referee Fee
The probate referee, who assesses the value of non-cash assets in the estate, receives $1 for every $1,000 valued regardless of any liens on the assets.