As the executor or heir of an estate, you’ve probably heard by now that probate can be a painful process. Why is that, you ask? Not only can probate hold up the transfer of property for months (sometimes over a year), the process can get quite expensive. How much will you have to shell out? The cost of probate varies from state to state, and county to county.
Because some fees are based on a percentage of the asset values, you can expect costs to go up with higher valued assets. In Georgia, probate fees can land somewhere between 2% to 8% of the total estate value.
What Probate Fees Will I Have to Pay in Georgia?
Taking into account all the fees that heirs may have to shell out for probate, investing in home repairs and possibly paying an additional mortgage may not be logical. If you don’t have the money for repairs or to pay a second mortgage, selling to a property investor may be the best option. In Georgia, you can sell property before probate in some circumstances, but if it has to go through probate, here are some of the fees you can expect to pay:
Probate Lawyer Fees
Attorney fees are determined by state law. In Georgia, you can expect to pay $1,500 to $3,000 for an uncontested probate. You’ll likely be charged more if you’re dealing with heirs that are minors or need attorney support through the final order. Obviously, a contested probate becomes more expensive. Complex cases dealing with undue influence or incapacity, removal of personal representative, or identity of the administrator can reach upwards of $15,000.
Personal Representative or Executor Fees
Executor fees are also dictated by state law and the value of the estate. In Georgia, personal representatives, also known as executors, are able to request reimbursement for all legitimate out-of-pocket expenses incurred from managing the deceased person’s estate. Executors may also be entitled to statutory fees. In Georgia, executors can request a commission of 2.5 percent of the value of assets gained by the estate. They can also request another 2.5 percent of the value of the assets paid out of the estate. This might include payments to creditors, heirs, or beneficiaries. In some cases, executors choose to forego the fees, especially if they are an heir.
Also determined by state law, court fees can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. There are fees associated with different types of proceedings, such as Petition for Letters of Administration, Petition to Determine Heirs, Petition for Letters of Conservatorship of Minor, and so on. Also expect to pay recording fees for any proceedings.
Accounting fees will also vary according to the value of the estate and types of assets to be accounted for. For instance, an estate with three properties and 30 different stocks and bonds may warrant more accounting fees than a single estate with bank account and an IRA. If the accountant has to file state or federal taxes on the estate, then you will likely pay more fees.
Appraisal and Business Valuation Fees
Probate cases require non-cash assets, such as real estate, automobiles, art, and jewelry, to be appraised before they are distributed. Determining the value of these assets often require the executor to obtain professional appraisals. Appraisal fees for personal property can range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. In Georgia, a home appraisal runs anywhere from $350 to $500. For business assets, the executor might hire an appraiser certified in a particular field to determine the value. Business valuation fees can reach up to several thousand dollars.
Probate Bond Fees
A probate bond is a type of insurance used to ensure that the executor carries out the wishes of the deceased according to the will. Most wills do not require the executor to post a bond. If the will does not specifically waive this requirement, the executor may ask the legal heirs and beneficiaries of the will to waive the requirement for a bond. However, the court may still require the executor to purchase a bond as part of the probate process.
The cost of a probate bond will depend on the amount of coverage you need, which is based on the total estate value that the executor is managing. Premiums typically run half a percent for the first $250,000 of coverage. This means an estate valued at $150,000 would cost around $750.
Get a No-Obligation Probate Consultation to Sell Your House Quickly
The executor of a will can sell a house without having to go through probate and avoid some of these costs if the heirs are part owners, or if the property is part of a trust in their names. There are also other costs the executor may have to take on until the probate is closed. Fees for postage, moving belongings, and storing belongings are some of the more common costs. However, clearing and cleaning out the home may not be necessary if you sell through a property investor. Arbor View Properties has years of experience with inherited homes and the probate process. We’d be glad to help you explore your options and give you a cash offer for your inherited property.
Want to learn more about selling an inherited home as fast as possible? Call Arbor View Properties to get a free cash-offer on your home.