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Minneapolis Estate Planning and Probate Lawyer Blog

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Expenses of Probate, PART I: Who Pays The Fees For A Probate When Someone Dies?

Minnesota Probate Lawyer Explains Who Is Responsible for Paying Probate Fees

Recently, a client came to me to assist her with handling her mother’s estate. Her mother was sick for many years and had taken the time to plan as orderly a transition as possible after her death. She had a will drafted by an attorney and discussed her wishes with her relatives. The main asset was a money market account that would be paid out according to the will.

At our first meeting, I explained how probate works and the fees involved. She then asked the inevitable question of who pays for the probate. I explained that the estate is responsible for paying any fees associated with probate. “Well, there is money in an account, but how do I get that money out?” OR “The bank told me I can’t get the money until the court appoints me as personal representative. How do I pay the fees now?” As a Minnesota probate lawyer, I hear this question a lot.

And here is the circular problem with paying for probate.  The personal representative needs to pay to open up a probate, but can’t get the money until the probate is done. Unfortunately, this means that the personal representative must front the money for working through the probate until he/she is officially appointed by the court and can then access the money that has been frozen since the decedent died.

Contact a Minnesota probate attorney now to ask about the process of opening a probate.

What are the fees involved with probate? Read Part II of this series to find out.


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