Probate Costs in California

It’s overwhelming. Someone close to you has died and you’re trying to cope with your grief. In addition to your emotional struggles, you know you have to start taking care of the legal matters of death. You do a little research and find out you need to probate the estate. Then you start asking how much it will cost.


It can be very expensive to probate an estate in California. Some of those costs are fixed - for example, court filing fees. Other probate costs - such as attorney and personal representative fees -  can vary tremendously. 

Most California probate attorneys charge the statutory rate, which is the maximum allowed under California law:

  • 4% on the first $100,000

  • 3% on the next $100,000

  • 2% on the next $800,000

  • 1% on the next $9,000,000

For example, if the only item in the estate is a $600,000 home, the probate fees are:

  • 4% on the first $100,000  = $4,000 ($100,000 x 4%)

  • 3% on the next $100,000 =   $3,000 ($100,000 x 3%)

  • 2% on the next $800,000 =   $8,000 ($400,000 x 2%)

                               TOTAL FEES: $15,000 ($600,000 estate)

The fees are based on the gross (not net) value of the estate. In the example above the attorney’s fees will be $15,000, even if there is a $400,000 mortgage on the home.

The personal representative and the attorney both receive the same amount in fees. In the example above, the attorney’s fees are $15,000 and the personal representative’s fees are $15,000 for a total of $30,000.

If you’re interested in paying less for a California probate attorney, please call or text me at (661) 244-1222. I am a licensed California attorney and I offer low rates for most probates. 

Click here to see my fees. 

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