In the state of West Virginia, probate is a common occurrence. It happens in a lot (but not every) instance when an estate is administered after the death of an estate owner. The process is similar to other states across the country, but despite it’s commonality, people still have many questions about it - like what’s the average cost of probate in West Virginia.
How much probate costs can depend on a many things, like:
How big and complicated the estate is
What Estate Plans did the decedent prepare
Is anyone going to contest the Will
Will you use a probate attorney
Common Probate Fees in West Virginia
Yes, probate costs can vary, but some fees are pretty standard. You’ll probably have to pay for things such as:
Court fees and filing fees
Administrator/Executor (Probate) Bonds as required
If you retain counsel, attorney fees
Any Personal Representative compensation that’s due - West Virginia pays by statute - state law limits Executor fees at five percent
Various other professional fees
Common Questions About Probate in West Virginia
How Long Does Probate Take in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, often the probate of a simple estate can take anywhere from about six months to just around a year to settle. Of course, bigger, more complex estates, or if there are any hang ups, can result in delays.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in West Virginia?
Because probate lawyer fees in West Virginia can vary, it’s difficult to give a hard dollar amount in regards to cost. Probate attorneys can bill by the hour or by a flat fee. The more experienced the attorney, often the more expensive he or she will be.
How to Avoid Probate in West Virginia?
Some people try hard to avoid probate, and who can blame them? It can be complicated, expensive and stressful. You might be able to avoid probate in West Virginia by:
Establishing and funding a Revocable Living Trust
Titling property smartly: in Joint Tenancy
Creating assets/accounts that are structured as Transfer on Death (TOD) or Payable on Death (POD)
And like other states, in West Virginia, estates that don’t meet or exceed a “small estate” threshold can often either avoid probate (or at least go through an expedited version of it).
What is Considered a Small Estate in West Virginia?
Estates valued under $100,000 (when there’s no real estate), or those where the Personal Representative is the sole beneficiary, may be able to avoid probate.
Who Pays Probate Fees in West Virginia?
It’s normal to feel stressed about how to pay for probate. But you don’t have to worry - probate attorney fees in West Virginia (and other probate fees) are paid for by the estate.