Probate: How Much Does it Cost?

Some days this profession is easier than others. Today is a difficult one. To the client I spoke with earlier, my heart goes out to you.
So, now on to our topic.


The word itself can come with feelings of unease and discomfort. However, that is not always necessary. Much of this ill-feeling toward Probate, I attribute to the few, but definitely possible, contentious, costly, and public Probate litigation. However, outside of those news clips, one of the concerns most often voiced is cost.

Probate in Idaho tends to be less expensive and time consuming when compared to many of our neighboring states.

However, I would not consider Probate inexpensive.

Three factors weigh heavily in determining the final cost associated with your experience in Probate; the type and amount of property involved, family relationships, and the Attorney or Law firm you or your family decide to use.

Another potential cost factor to consider is known, or unknown, creditor’s claims. These costs really depend on the deceased individual. Contested creditor's claims will substantially increase the cost, especially if they were unknown and you intend to dispute them.

If everything works out well (and by well I mean an uncontested, informal probate), you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. I use the word “You,” but in reality, the cost of Probate is most often pad out of your Estate. The cost of Probate listed above often includes the fixed costs of court costs, attorney fees, cost to publish the Notice to Creditors, and recording fees.

Before you begin working with an attorney on a Estate you have been placed in charge of, it is a good idea to ask him or her to give you an estimate of what the total cost, plus fees will be. After asking a number of initial inquiries, that attorney should be able to give you an estimate. Better yet, hopefully he or she can offer you a fixed fee plan. This approach encourages efficiency and economy that ultimately works to your benefit.

One thing to consider, if you do not meet one of the legal requirements that trigger Probate, there is still a reason to contact a Lawyer or Attorney.

Lastly, if your goal is to avoid both the cost and the time delay of Probate, a Living Trust or Family Trust is often the best option available.