High Cost of Dying



Probate is a long, expensive process that simply does not have to occur, if you plan ahead.

Death is a difficult time for everyone concerned and the family should not have to be forced through the unnecessary agony of probate.

Probate requires an "executor" and an "attorney."  Sometimes the executor is referred to as the "personal representative."  In probate, both the executor and probate attorney are entitled to substantial fees for their services, based upon the estate's gross value.

The executor is responsible for making sure the Last Will and Testament is followed.  The executor must hire the attorney to handle the necessary paperwork.

Executors and attorneys are allowed to share "reasonable fees" for their services.  Typically, where an estate has a gross value of $400,000, basic attorney fees will run in the area of $11,000, but could go much higher.  These fees are paid out before any proceeds are distributed to the decedent's family.

Some additional expenses beyond fees paid to the attorney include: court costs, appraisers' fees, filing fees, accounting fees, etc.

You might have heard the story about Marilyn Monroe's probate.  Her estate took nearly 20 years to complete the probate process.  At the conclusion of probate, her fees exceeded one million dollars, leaving $101,229 as the final estate for the beneficiaries.

Most people agree that probate is to be avoided, and a Living Trust can accomplish that goal.