After someone passes away, their estate needs to be settled. Debts and taxes need to be paid and distributions to heirs need to be made. Often, this happens by way of a court-supervised process known as probate. Despite probate being fairly common in the state of Texas, there are often a lot of questions about it. And the majority of these questions stem from wondering what the average cost of probate in Texas actually is.
The cost of probate can depend on a number of things, including:
Size and complexity of the estate
Heirs trying to contest the Will
What type of Estate Plans were made
If a probate attorney will be uses
Common Probate Fees in Texas
Even though probate costs can fluctuate, there are a few fees common in most proceedings. It’s very likely you’ll have to pay some or all of the following:
Surety Bond to protect the interest of the estate and beneficiaries
Personal Representative compensation - Texas state law sets Executor compensation fees by statute. It’s commonly five percent.
Various professional fees
Common Questions About Probate in Texas
How Long Does Probate Take in Texas?
Going through probate in Texas can take anywhere from around six months to more than a year, depending on how complex the estate is.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Texas?
Because probate lawyer fees in Texas can range so widely, it’s not easy to give a set dollar amount. Many probate attorneys bill by the hour, and some charge a flat fee.
How to Avoid Probate in Texas?
Some people want to avoid probate, and that’s understandable. Probate can be stressful and taxing. If you’re looking for ways to not have to go through probate, these strategies may help:
Establish a Revocable Living Trust
Title property/assets as Joint Tenancy
Create assets/accounts/policies that will TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
Also remember that states with a value that doesn’t meet or exceed the “small estate” threshold can generally avoid probate (or at the very least, go through a shortened version of it).
What is Considered a Small Estate in Texas?
If an estate in Texas is valued at less than $75,000 and there is no Will, a small estate Affidavit can generally be used.
Who Pays Probate Fees in Texas?
Probate attorney fees in Texas, along with other costs associated with the probate process, are paid for by the estate.