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Probate Process

Probate is the court procedure that oversees the transfer of assets in a person's estate after death. Probate is required if a person has a will or a person dies intestate (without a will). Probate is an expensive and time consuming process. The probate process involves attorneys' fees and executor's fees. In California, attorneys' and executors' fees for ordinary probate proceedings are usually determined by a sliding scale based upon the gross value of the assets subject to probate. The following table illustrates the costs involved with probate.

Size of EstateBasic Probate FeeAdditional Probate Fee
$100,000 - $199,999$4,000+ 3% of amount above $100,000
$200,000 - $999,999$7,000+ 2% of amount above $200,000
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999$23,000+1% of amount above $1,000,000
$10,000,000 - $24,999,999$113,000+1/2% of amount above $10,000,000
$25,000,000 and above$188,000+ Reasonable amount

Probate is also a very time consuming process. A typical probate takes over a year, and often lasts two years, depending on the backlog of the court.

However, if you have a Trust in place, you can avoid the costs and time involved in probate. Trust administration does not typically require court oversight, thus is completed much faster than the probate process.

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