Knowledge Is Power: Extreme Probate Fees You Should Know About

Did you know that in many states, attorney’s probate fees could be whatever a court approves as “reasonable”?  And in 1997 U.S. Tax Court in New York allowed an attorney’s probate fee of $1,600 per hour for a total of $368,100, declaring that the fee “was reasonable under New York law”!


For an uncomplicated estate with a value of $500,000 (not much by today’s standards), a probate attorney fees can easily amount to $10,000 - $15,000.


The moral of this post:  you may want to learn about a number of legal probate-avoiding means such as revocable living trusts, joint tenancy and tenancy by entirety, “pay-on-depth” designations, life insurance beneficiaries, etc.


Source:  a great book by attorneys Denis Clifford and Cora Jordan – “Plan your estate”.




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