How Much Does Probate Cost in Florida?

how much does probate cost

When a loved one passes away, dealing with the legal process of settling their estate can be emotionally challenging and overwhelming.

One of the first questions that may come to mind is, “How much does probate cost in Florida?” It’s a valid concern, as the costs associated with probate can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the estate and the work required to administer it properly.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the expenses you can expect during the Florida probate process, from court fees and personal representative compensation to attorney’s fees and other related costs.

Attorney’s Fees in Probate Costs

Probate costs in Florida can vary depending on the size and complexity of the estate. However, one of the most substantial expenses is typically the attorney’s fees. Formal Administration probates are complex and usually necessitate the guidance and representation of an attorney. The lawyer’s role is crucial in navigating the legal intricacies, filing the necessary paperwork, and ensuring compliance with all legal requirements. As such, most probate cases will require representation by an attorney, making these fees necessary in many situations.

So, what is considered a “reasonable” attorney fee in Florida? According to Section 733.6171(3) of the Florida Statutes, the following fee structure is considered a guideline for reasonable attorney fees:

  • For estates of $40,000 or less: $1,500
  • For estates between $40,000 and $70,000: $2,250
  • For estates between $70,000 and $100,000: $3,000
  • For estates between $100,000 and $900,000: 3% of the estate’s value
  • For estates between $1 million and $3 million: 2.5% of the estate’s value
  • For estates between $3 million and $5 million: 2% of the estate’s value
  • For estates between $5 million and $10 million: 1.5% of the estate’s value
  • For estates of $10 million and above: 1% of the estate’s value

It’s important to note that these percentages are not mandatory, the attorney fee is not required to be based on the size of the estate, and the presumed reasonable fee provided above may not be appropriate in all estate administrations.

In addition to fees for ordinary services, the attorney for the personal representative is also allowed further reasonable compensation for any extraordinary service. What an extraordinary service is may vary depending on many factors, including the size and complexity of the estate.

At Vollrath Law, we believe in transparency and fairness when it comes to our fees, and we always strive to provide our clients with the best possible value for our services.

Additional Costs to Consider When Probating a Will

In addition to attorney’s fees, there are other costs to consider when probating a will in Florida. These may include:

  1. Court filing fees — These fees vary by county but typically range from $300 to $400.
  2. Accounting fees — If the estate requires professional accounting services, these fees can add up quickly, often at a rate of around $50 per hour.
  3. Executor bond fees — In some cases, the court may require the executor to post a bond to ensure they carry out their duties properly.
  4. Publication and notice fees — The estate may need to publish legal notices in local newspapers, which can cost around $100.
  5. Personal Representative fees — The Personal Representative is also entitled to a reasonable fee for the work that they perform for the estate.

If the deceased owned assets in multiple jurisdictions, there might be additional probate costs incurred in those states as well.

The Average Cost of Probate in Florida

While the cost of probate varies among estates, larger estates may incur significantly higher costs, as do estates that are litigated. For example if someone challenges the will in court, the attorneys fees will be much higher.

At Vollrath Law, our experienced probate attorneys, known as the “blue awning attorneys,” are here to guide you through the process and help you understand the potential costs involved.

Factors That Influence Probate Costs

The cost of probate can vary significantly depending on several factors. Let’s explore some of the most common ones:

  1. Size and complexity of the estate: Generally, the larger and more complex the estate, the higher the probate costs. This is because more assets need to be valued, managed, and distributed, which requires more time and effort from the professionals involved.
  2. Location: Probate laws and court fees can differ from state to state and even between counties within the same state.
  3. Type of assets: The nature of the estate’s assets can also impact costs. Real estate, investments, and business interests may require additional appraisals, valuations, and specialized expertise, driving up expenses.
  4. Presence of a valid Will: If the deceased had a valid and up-to-date Will, the probate process is generally smoother and less costly. However, if there is no Will (intestacy) or if the Will is challenged, costs can escalate due to potential legal disputes.
  5. Disputes or challenges to the Will: Speaking of disputes, if beneficiaries or heirs contest the validity of the Will or argue over asset distribution, litigation expenses can quickly pile up.
  6. Duration of the probate process: The longer the probate process takes, the higher the costs. Factors like delays, legal challenges, and the complexity of the estate can prolong the process, leading to increased expenses.

How Vollrath Law Can Help You Navigate Probate Costs

We understand that dealing with the legal and financial aspects of an estate can be overwhelming, especially during a time of grief. That’s why we offer personalized consultations to discuss your unique situation and develop a plan that best meets your needs.

Our legal team will work closely with you to ensure that the probate process is as smooth and efficient as possible while minimizing costs wherever feasible. We’ll keep you informed throughout the process, answering any questions you may have and providing you with the support and guidance you need.

Contact the Blue Awning Attorneys for Your Probate Needs

If you have questions about probate costs in Florida or any other aspect of estate planning and probate, don’t hesitate to contact us. With our knowledge, compassion, and commitment to our clients, the team at Vollrath Law is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. Remember, when you see the blue awning in Oviedo, you know you’ve found attorneys you can trust.

Whether you’re just beginning to explore the probate process or you’re in the middle of settling an estate, our experienced attorneys are here to help. Contact Vollrath Law today to schedule your personalized consultation and take the first step toward confidently navigating the probate process.

Author Bio

Stephanie Vollrath is an Owner and Partner of Vollrath Law, a Florida estate planning law firm she founded in 2013. With more than seven years of experience in investments and financial advising and 13 years practicing law in Florida, she represented clients in a wide range of estate planning cases. Her practice areas include wills, trusts, guardianship, probate, and other estate planning matters.

Stephanie received her Juris Doctor from the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar and the Seminole County Bar Association.

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