The Cost of Probate

We do not ask our probate clients to directly pay for probate-related attorney fees or expenses in advance of services, nor do we ask them to pay us from assets of the estate. 

Photo close-up image of a Last Will and Testament's title page, with a gold pen.In California, ordinary probate fees (for attorneys and the personal representatives) are determined by statute, based upon the valuation of the probate estate and generally payable from the assets of the estate, upon court order, usually at the conclusion of probate or during the probate process.  As such, generally speaking, a probate attorney (in California) should not be asking a petitioning personal representative (i.e., executor) to advance probate fees from the assets of the estate.  

Subject to approval by the court, our firm will be entitled to receive ordinary statutory probate fees.  A court may award additional fees to be paid if there are unusual, additional, or extraordinary services.  This would also be paid, upon a court’s order, from the estate’s assets (not from the client), at the conclusion of probate.

Additionally, our firm will advance reasonable and necessary expenses arising from the probate action, such as court costs, messenger fees, postage, etc.   Upon a court order, these expenses will likely be reimbursed by the estate during the probate process.

The Cost of Planning Ahead

What does it cost to avoid probate?  In other words, how much does a living trust cost?   It depends on the situation, but it’s usually a lot more cost-effective than the cost of probate.  Not to mention, it takes less time and is designed for much better outcomes.  Learn more about living trusts.


If you need assistance with the probate process in California, our experienced attorneys are here to help.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Types of Services Performed in Probate

Our law firm offers a range of services to assist clients throughout the probate process.  These services include:

  • Filing the petition for probate with the court

  • Assisting with the appointment of a personal representative

  • Providing notice to the decedent’s heirs, creditors, and other interested parties

  • Inventorying and valuing the decedent’s assets

  • Advising the personal representative on their duties and responsibilities

  • Assisting with the distribution of assets to the decedent’s heirs

  • Counseling and and assisting with any business interests held by the estate



Want to know more about probate fees in California?