Washington County Probate Lawyer
When a family member dies, people often have questions about whether probate (the distribution of that person’s assets and payment of debts) is necessary, how much it will cost and how long it will take.
For most estates, the main reason for probate is to transfer real estate or other assets with a title, such as stock, mutual funds, and vehicles. Depending upon in whose name title was held, it may be possible to avoid probate altogether. If probate is necessary, the minimum length of time to open and close a probate proceeding is about six months. This is because Washington County Law requires four months of notice be given to interested parties and creditors. Resolution of tax or issues may also keep a probate open. However, during that time, a family allowance may be paid, and, depending upon circumstances, partial distributions to heirs may also occur.
The cost of a probate varies with the complexity of issues and nature of assets in the estate. The total cost for conducting an uncontested probate in Washington County is typically around $4,300.00, from opening to closing, and complete distribution of assets. This usually includes the following:
- Final personal income tax return
- Estate tax return
- Income tax return for the estate itself
- Petition for appointment of personal representative (executor); court appearance if needed
- Payment of claims and bills of the estate, and determination of validity of claims
- Ensuring proper notice to creditors and interested parties
- Notice to Washington County Department of Health/County to clear medical assistance liens
- Preparation of final account and plan of distribution
- Petition for the discharge of personal representative
- Filing fees
Because many people are uncomfortable with an open ended, hourly rate agreement for uncontested probates, we will often be able to use a flat fee retainer agreement so the total cost is known to the client from the start. This flat fee will vary depending on the complexity of the estate, so for probate matters, we offer a free consultation if you mention this website. For more information, contact our office at 763-427-5131 or contact Charles Kallemeyn at Charles@Kallemeyn.com