How Much Does A
San Diego Probate Cost?
Frequently calls come in from San Diego probate executors and administrators, and one of their most common question is: how much will this San Diego probate cost?
This is a great time to give basic answers to the question, and links so that you can get updated and accurate information.
To begin, every San Diego probate real estate sale, there are court fees that must be paid. The fees are approximately $435 to file the San Diego probate petition, and an additional $400 to file the probate petition for final distribution of the San Diego estate assets. Additional fees include the following:
- San Diego probate publication notices (in a local newspaper)
- San Diego probate referee fee of roughly .1% of the assets ie. the decedents home
- Certified copies of documents expense
- Any additional fees for ex parte petitions or any additional court petitions that may be necessary
San Diego probate attorneys have share with me that a San Diego executor or administrator can expect between $1,500 and $2,500 in court and miscellaneous costs.
In addition, California probate code section 10810-10814 sets the maximum fees that San Diego probate attorneys, executors and administrators (personal representative or PR) can charge for the managing of the San Diego probate . The PR is entitled to statutory fees payment, but depending on the circumstances, occasionally the PR chooses to not charge the fees ie. the PR is also the beneficiary. The PR needs to understand that the statutory fees can potentially be considered taxable income. In the case that the PR is also the beneficiary, receiving the inheritance may be a better option because the inheritance would potentially be non-taxable. My best recommendation is that the decision be made with a trusted tax professional and legal counsel.
Regarding statutory fees, the PR and the San Diego probate attorney can charge based on the following:
- 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate
- 3% of the next $100,000
- 2% of the next $800,000
- 1% of the next $9 million
- .5% of the next $15 million
- over $25 million will be addressed by the courts
In California, for example, a San Diego executor can charge 4% of the first $100,000 of an estate’s value; for a $1 million estate, the fee is $23,000. The value of the estate is its gross appraised value—for purposes of calculating the fee, debts are not subtracted. What this means, to you, is that if the home sells for $800,000, but the decedent had a $600,000 mortgage, the estate would receive less than $200,000, but the PR and San Diego probate attorney would receive calculated payment based on the full $800,000.
Remember that the statutory fees can only be paid once the court has ordered them paid from the estate. This typically occurs as part of the final accounting at the end of the probate process. Which means that the San Diego PR and San Diego probate attorney will be compensated for their months of work typically a year after they begin the process.