Settling an Estate...What Are The Costs?

The cost of settling an estate depends on many factors.  Some estates can be very complex containing various types of assets, many beneficiaries, or a lot of debt. Cost of an Estate Cost of an Estate

Regardless, estate administration costs can be reduced if you have the proper estate planning documents in place when needed.  Some costs are unavoidable while others can be minimal or lofty.  What costs can you expect?

Common Costs to Settle A Person's Estate  

  • 1. Attorney's fees and any associated court costs or filing fees for the estate.
  • 2. Locating, notifying, and communicating with beneficiaries.
    • The costs are generally lower when the beneficiaries remain in touch and get along with each other.
    • Conversely, if a beneficiary does not cooperate with the attorney and/or fiduciary, the costs begin to add up quickly.
  • 3. Residential and/or foreign real property owned by decedent, either in another state or country.
    • Out-of-State attorney's fees.
    • Real property commissions and closing costs (taxes, filing fees, etc.)
    • Costs to prepare property for sale.
    • Costs associated with appraising, liquidating and/or transferring personal property that is located on the land, or within any structure on the real property owned by the dececedent.
    • Mortgage, utilities, maintenance, and taxes until the property sells or transfers.

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  • 4. Missing/Incomplete/Disorganized Recordkeeping.
    • There can be considerable additional time required to ascertain the nature, location, and value of all decedent's assets and debts.
    • Accurate, updated recordkeeping helps reduce unnecessary costs to the estate.
  • 5. Tax Preparation and Taxes
    • A final personal income tax return may be filed with the IRS to report the taxpayer's death.
    • If a person's estate assets are more than $5,340,000 a Federal Estate Tax Return will need to be prepared and filed.  The preparation of such return should be completed by a certified tax professional.  The costs vary depending on the estate assets and the tax preparer's fees.
    • Finally, if the estate earns more than $600 in a fiscal year, the fiduciary of the estate will be required to file an Estate Income Tax Return on behalf of the estate.

To learn more about reducing the costs of settling your estate call (440) 530-3605 today, to speak with an experienced probate lawyer at The DiCello Law Firm Probate Division.

This information is provided as a service and courtesy of The DiCello Law Firm and is not intended to replace or serve as legal advice, or to create an implied attorney-client relationship.

References:  CBS MoneyWatch (September 23, 2013) "Higher Limits for Estate Tax Credits"

U.S. News (February 23, 2014) "The Hidden Costs of Settling an Estate" 

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