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The Expense of Probate in Florida

Posted on in Estate Planning

Broward County estate planning lawyerIf you have looked into the difference between trusts and wills, you have probably seen “avoiding probate” as one of the major benefits of using a trust. Probate can be time-consuming, legally complicated, and generally a pain in the neck. It can also be pricey. Probating an entire estate is not cheap. Unfortunately, testators and their survivors alike often underestimate the costs associated with probate. You probably do not want your loved ones to experience “sticker shock” when they try to submit your will to a probate court.

Preserving estate assets is one of the main reasons people choose to use trusts. Before you consider using a will to control your estate property, you should look into what probate might cost for your surviving loved ones. An attorney can help provide you with a personalized estimate based on your own individual situation. 

Costs Associated With Probate in Broward County

Some of the expenses that can arise from probate include: 

  • Filing fees - Just going to a probate court and submitting a will can cost $300-$400. 
  • Accounting and appraisal - One of the steps in the Florida probate process involves taking a complete accounting of all estate property. This often involves hiring a professional. Appraisals for some bits of personal property, like jewelry or antique furniture are often charged as a percentage of the item’s worth. Multiple appraisals for different items may be needed. 
  • Attorney fees - In most cases, Florida probate courts require the personal representative of the estate to hire an attorney. The cost of hiring a probate lawyer varies depending on the size of the estate and the complexity of the case. At minimum, your loved ones will likely need to spend $1,500 if your estate is on the smaller side, but too big for summary administration. 
  • Executor fees - In Florida, an estate’s executor or personal representative is able to receive reasonable compensation for the time and effort they put into probating the will. 
  • Creditor notification and payment - Your survivors will have to spend considerable time and often money tracking down all of your creditors and notifying them that you have passed away. If your creditors respond, your executor will have to pay your debts using your estate funds. If you have a lot of debt - including medical debt related to end-of-life care, this can significantly diminish your estate property. 

After fighting through the whole process of probate - which could take years - your loved ones might be left with much less than you wanted them to receive. By using a trust, joint accounts, or similar estate planning strategies, your survivors can avoid much of the hassle and expense of probate. 

Speak With a Broward County Estate Planning Attorney

Law Office of Miller & Miller, P.A. is well-versed in a number of time and money-saving estate planning strategies. Our skilled Oakland Park estate planning lawyers can help you keep your estate property in the hands of your loved ones. Call us at 954-981-9301 to get started with a free consultation. 



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