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Cost of Probate in Virginia

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

Byron Ricardo Batres

Byron Ricardo Batres, @ByronBatres

General Manager, Probate, Trust & Will

After someone passes away, their estate must be distributed. The court-supervised process known as probate can help facilitate this. Probate is very common in the state of Virginia - in fact, it happens in many (but not every) cases of administering an estate. Yet, even though the probate process in Virginia is similar to other states around the country, there still seems to be many questions about it. A lot of times, those questions are largely about: what’s the average cost of probate in Virginia. 

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

Despite the seemingly simple question, there really isn’t an easy answer. Probate costs can have a wide range, and that range will really just depend on things like: 

  • The size and complexity of the estate

  • Whether or not heirs contest the Will

  • If there are any Estate Plans (like a Trust or a Will)

  • If a probate attorney is retained

  • Etc.

Common Probate Fees in Virginia

Despite there being numerous potential probate costs, some fees are to be expected in most probate cases. If you’re going through probate, you’ll likely have to pay:

  • Attorney fees

  • Court costs

  • Filing fees

  • Administrator/Executor/Probate Bonds as required by county courts

  • Professional fees (I.E., Appraisers and Land Surveyors, etc.)

  • Any requested Fiduciary (Personal Representative) compensation - Virginia state law limits Fiduciary fees at a max of five percent (but it’s pretty common that compensation be treated similarly to reasonable compensations states)

  • Etc. 

Common Questions About Probate in Virginia

How Long Does Probate Take in Virginia?

Probate in Virginia can take six months to about a year to be settled - this is for an average estate. More complex and larger estates can take several years. The more basic and simple an estate is, the more quickly it can be handled.   

How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Virginia?

Since probate lawyer fees in Virginia can range, it’s tough to give a solid, accurate dollar figure when discussing cost. Sometimes probate attorneys will bill by the hour, and other times they’ll charge a flat fee to handle a probate.

How to Avoid Probate in Virginia?

It’s common to want to avoid probate. It makes sense when you stop to think about the fact that it can be very stressful. Not to mention, expensive and complicated. If you’re hoping to avoid probate in Virginia, you may want to consider some of these strategies:

  • Establish a Revocable Living Trust

  • Title property in Joint Tenancy

  • Create TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death) assets/policies/accounts

Also, Virginia allows for a small estate Affidavit if an estate value is below a certain dollar amount (see below).  

What is Considered a Small Estate in Virginia?

Virginia law states the small estate process can be used if an estate is worth less than $50,000 in value. This expedited process offers a fast solution to settling an estate, but it may not be utilized until at least 60 days after the decedent’s death.   

Who Pays Probate Fees in Virginia?

Probate attorney fees in Virginia (just like all other probate fees) are paid for out of the estate, so no need to worry about coming up with the money in advance or on your own.