Justin Jeppesen: How Much Does a Probate Cost?

This is a fitting post today as I finish up the opening documents for a client I previously worked with.



The word itself brings feelings of unease and discomfort. But, I think that is not always necessary. Much of this I attribute to the few, but definitely possible, contentious, costly, and public Probate litigations. However, outside of those news clips, one of the concerns most often voiced is cost.

Probate tends to be less expensive and time consuming when compared to many of the neighboring states of Idaho. However, I would not consider Probate inexpensive.

Three factors weigh heavily in determining the final price associated with you 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 are known, or unknown, creditor’s claims. This really depends on the individual. Contested creditor's claims will increase the cost, especially if they were unknown and you intend to dispute them.

If everything works out well, Probate can cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. I use the word “You,” but in reality, the cost of Probate is borne by 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 Probate 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 inquires, 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.


If you have been placed in charge of some one's estate, or you would like to discuss your options of avoiding Probate, call Jeppesen Law today at 208-477-1785.