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The Cost of Dying in California: Probate Fees

The Cost of Dying in California: Probate Fees

California Residents:


Have you ever about thought what happens to your stuff after you’re gone? Who gets what, and who administers your stuff? What does that process look like?

Chances are if you don’t have an estate plan, your assets will be subject to mandatory court administration process called probate.  Generally speaking, probate fees are determined by a percentage amount of the total gross value of your assets.

Probate fees generally vary from state to state, but they can be significant in California. For example, a $1,000,000 estate in California (i.e. real estate) can be close to 5% of the estate value. That’s $50,000 in associated costs to pass your own stuff to your loved ones! Even worse, the valuation of an individual’s assets are calculated based on gross value, NOT equity value.  For example, if you own a $1,000,000 dollar home while owing $500,000 on the home  mortgage, the gross value of the home will still be $1,000,000.

The good news is, the general bulk of the probate administration fees can be minimized by properly titling valued assets or funding them into a Revocable Living Trust. Doing so will help escape the probate administration process and the respective probate fees. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for more information.

 Source: CA Probate Code §10810
Disclaimer: While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not legal advice or legal representation. Because of the rapidly changing nature of the law and our reliance upon outside sources, we make no warranty or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of information contained herein.

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