Who Pays for the Costs of Probate and Estate Administration?
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
November 15, 2021
BARRY HAIMO: The costs associated with probate administration are paid by the estate itself, that includes payments for personal representatives, it includes payment for attorneys, and it includes the fees and costs associated with opening the probate estate itself.
Whether or not you have a validly executed Will, your estate will go through Probate to the extent that you die owning assets in your name. “Probate” is the legal process through which a deceased person’s affairs are formally settled. Let’s examine the probate process and the costs associated with estate administration, including who pays for probate, attorney fees and personal representatives.
The Role of the Personal Representative
First, an attorney must be retained to open up an estate w/ the court. A person is then appointed to administer the estate. They are often called a Personal Representative or Executor. The Personal Representative works with the attorney and is responsible for overseeing the entire process.
The Personal Representative starts by locating a validly executed will. Next, they must then identify and gather all the deceased person’s assets, file an inventory with the court and notify the deceased’s creditors of the pending estate. It’s a lot of work.
Who Pays for Probate?
Then assets are then pooled together and used to satisfy creditors’ claims.
Finally, the balance of assets are ultimately distributed to the proper beneficiaries, who – as you now know from the crash course on wills – are determined by the will or may be decided for you by the state in which you reside.
Beneficiaries only inherit the assets that remain after all creditors and administrative expenses are paid by the estate first (including attorneys’ fees and costs). This is why you want to minimize all costs to maximize your beneficiaries’ inheritance.
Being Proactive about Estate Fees
Haimo Law can help you plan for the costs associated with estate administration and probate. Our goal is to protect your family and your business’s interests for the immediate and long-term future. Together, we can take advantage of incredible tools and techniques that are available to you right now.
Call us for wills, trusts, probate, asset protection and business planning. Haimo Law offers premium professional representation at an affordable price. Alternative fee arrangements are available upon request. We are reliable, approachable, honest, hard-working and attentive.
Helping your family and business is our priority. We look forward to meeting and exceeding your expectations.
Originally published 05/19/2015. Updated 11/15/2021.
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