What Is The Cost of Probate in Texas?
Any fees or costs associated with probating an estate reduce the amount the beneficiaries will receive; obviously, it is most desirable to minimize that amount as much as possible. As your College Station probate attorney will tell you, there are, however, many variables that contribute to what the actual cost of a probate may be.
Texas has a relatively efficient and effective probate system in place and estates that are not complicated can be administered for as little as $1500. Some factors that are characteristic of simple estates are:
- The existence of an estate plan
- An up to date will
- A named executor
- A limited number of beneficiaries
- All of the surviving children are children of the surviving spouse
- The debts of the estate are without controversy
- No property outside of Texas
- The decedent discussed their final wishes with the family
Passing without a Will
If the decedent did not leave a will or the will is found to be invalid, the estate will be distributed under the laws of intestacy, which means dying without a will. In such a case, the court will appoint a dependent executor to administer the estate. Dependent means that the executor must return to court and receive the court's permission to conduct the business of concluding the affairs of the estate. In some case, if all the beneficiaries agree, the court may appoint an independent executor, which can result in substantial savings to the estate.
In addition to the statutory fees Texas courts charge to open a probate and administer the proceedings, fees are required to pay for:
- The bond of the executor; to ensure the debts, taxes and distributions of the estate are completed properly
- Attorney fees; to transfer title of assets, address any disputes among beneficiaries or issues in interpreting the terms of the will
- Appraisal fees
- Tax preparation fees