A Minneapolis Probate Attorney Explains the Fees Associated with Handling a Probate
In Part I of this series, I explained who is responsible for paying the fees to open up a probate. Now I will turn to the types of expenses involved in a probate.
• Court Fees
These fees are dictated by Minnesota law and cover the court filing fee. Generally, this fee is in the neighborhood of $350 to open the probate. It also includes fees to order certified copies at $16 per copy.
• Attorney’s Fees
Naturally, these fees vary by attorney. Be sure to ask the Minnesota probate lawyer about these fees before signing anything. At Unique Estate Law, we list our fees up front AND provide our probate clients with a knowledgeable quote based on what we think will be involved in handling the estate.
• Accounting Fees
These fees will vary depending upon the overall value of the estate and the type of assets owned. For instance, a small estate that nonetheless owns 25 different stocks and bonds may generate more accounting fees than a larger estate that owns a primary residence, a bank account and a CD. Of course, if the estate is taxable at the state and/or federal level, then the accounting fees may include the preparation and filing of the state and/or federal estate tax returns if the attorney for the estate doesn’t prepare and file the returns.
• Appraisal and Business Valuation Fees
These fees will be necessary to determine the date of death values of real estate, personal property (including jewelry, antiques, art work, boats, cars and the like), and business interests. Appraisal fees for personal property can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, while business valuation fees will run several thousand dollars.
I had a probate client who owned several racehorses. The personal representative paid to hire someone who specializes in the appraisal of horses so we could value them for the probate.
• Bond Fees
There are numerous reasons why a court may require the Persona Representative to post a bond before appointment.
- If you don’t have a Will waiving a bond
- There are minor children named to inherit
- A bequest to a charity
• Miscellaneous Fees
There are almost always other fees involved in a probate. The following are a few examples of such fees:
- Postage to mail notices and documents to interested persons or governmental authorities
- Insuring and storing personal property;
- Shipping personal property;
- Moving personal property
- Paying the decedent’s mortgage
- Paying for property/casualty insurance on a residence
- Lawn care services
- House repairs (I had a client who had to pay to fix an ice dam on his father’s home during probate)
- Car insurance
There a numerous expenses an estate incurs when dealing with a probate. These fees can amount to several thousand dollars just to get assets/items to the beneficiaries. There are ways around paying the fees for probate. While that discussion is beyond the scope of this post, you can look through this blog for posts about estate planning to avoid probate.