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Cost of Probate in New York

Curious about the cost of probate in New York? Read our guide that covers everything about New York probate fees.

Byron Ricardo Batres

Byron Ricardo Batres, @ByronBatres

General Manager, Probate, Trust & Will

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

  • Etc.

[Need help with probate? We offer helpful probate services and will work with you to find the plan that meets your needs. Learn more.]

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

  • Attorney 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

  • Etc. 

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

  • Joint Tenancy

  • 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.