In New York, the court-supervised process known as probate allows for the distribution of assets and property after an estate owner passes away. Probate happens in many (though not all) cases when an estate needs administering. There are a lot of questions about the average cost of probate in New York. Unfortunately, there isn’t one, simple answer. Cost will just depend on a number of factors, such as:
Size of an estate
How complex it is
If an heir contests anything
What type of Estate Plans were left
If a probate attorney is used
Common Probate Fees in New York
Even though the final cost to go through probate will range, there are actually several fees that you’ll most likely need to pay. Some of these fees can include:
Miscellaneous court and filing fees
Personal Representative compensation - New York sets Executor compensation by statute, ranging from two percent to five percent of the estate value
Various professional fees
Executor/Administrator/Probate Bonds are required by New York county courts
Common Questions About Probate in New York
How Long Does Probate Take in New York?
On average, probate will take seven to nine months to close out in New York. Of course, very complicated estates can take longer.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in New York?
Because probate attorney fees in New York vary, it’s hard to give an exact number in regards to cost. Many probate attorneys charge by the hour and their fees can be anywhere from $350 - $600/hour. Sometimes, if an estate is small and simple, they may charge a flat fee, generally starting around $3,000 and going up from there.
How to Avoid Probate in New York
You might be able to avoid probate in New York through any of the following strategies:
Establish a Revocable Living Trust
Title property strategically:
Tenancy by the Entirety
Community Property With Right of Survivorship
Update your beneficiaries and be sure to designate contingent options
Create assets that will TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
Also, estates with a value below the “small estate” threshold can often avoid probate, or at least go through a minimal version of it.
What is Considered a Small Estate in New York?
If an estate is valued at less than $30,000, in New York you can use summary probate procedure. Note that the state does not have an Affidavit procedure for small estates.
Who Pays Probate Fees in New York?
The cost of probate and probate lawyer fees in New York are typically paid for by the estate.