Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing property and transferring assets after the death of an estate owner. It’s a common legal proceeding in the state of Wyoming, and happens in many (but not all) instances of administering an estate. While the probate process is similar here to other states across the country, many people have questions about the average cost of probate in Wyoming. But the truth is, the actual cost can vary, depending on a number of things, such as:
How big and complex an estate is
If any heirs contest a Will
What type of Estate Plans are in place
Whether or not a probate attorney is hired
Common Probate Fees in Wyoming
Even though probate costs can range, some fees are common in virtually all proceedings. You may want to be prepared to pay some or all of the following:
Miscellaneous court and filing fees
Attorney fees (if hired)
Personal Representative compensation - Wyoming state law limits Executor fees at a certain percentage (ranging from 3 - 10 percent) based on estate value. That said, there are cases where extraordinary services can warrant additional compensation. It’s also common for fees to be treated the same way reasonable compensation states do.
Various other professional fees
Surety Bond (if required)
Common Questions About Probate in Wyoming
How Long Does Probate Take in Wyoming?
A good rule of thumb is probate can take anywhere from around six months to about a year for an average estate in Wyoming to be settled. Of course, more complex and larger estates can take years, and simpler, basic estates might even be handled more quickly.
How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Wyoming?
Because probate lawyer fees in Wyoming can vary, it’s difficult to give an exact, concrete dollar figure. Many probate attorneys chose to bill by the hour, and some charge a flat fee. Wyoming also allows probate lawyers to charge a set percentage fee based on estate value.
How to Avoid Probate in Wyoming?
Some people would rather avoid probate, and with good reason. Probate can be messy, complicated, time-consuming and stressful. You can potentially circumvent probate in Wyoming through the following strategies:
Establish a Revocable Living Trust
Title property as Joint Tenancy
Create assets that are TOD or POD (Transfer on Death; Payable on Death)
Keep in mind, estates with a value that doesn’t meet or exceed the “small estate” threshold can likely avoid probate all together, or at least go through an expedited version of it.
What is Considered a Small Estate in Wyoming?
If an estate is valued at less than $15,000, and there is no Will, and the decedent was not married, in Wyoming, you can use what’s called a summary probate procedure. The state doesn’t have an Affidavit procedure for small estates.
Who Pays Probate Fees in Wyoming?
It’s normal to be worried about how to pay for probate, but you really don’t need to be. Costs and fees, including probate attorney fees in Wyoming, can be paid for out of the estate.