There are usually three costs when we consider probate: (1) The actual probate fee for the county, (2) the legal fee, and (3) the PA Inheritance taxes due.
1. Probate Costs for your County
Probate costs vary from county to county in Pennsylvania. Each county’s Register of Wills office sets the fee for probate.
Typically, the size of the estate determines the base probate fee. It could range from $100 to over $1,000, depending on how large the estate is.
In addition, there are several other typical fees. You must pay extra for “Short Certificates”, which provide proof that a person is the Executor of the estate. You must check with your individual county to find out exactly what the fees are.
2. Legal Fees
Every attorney is different in how they structure their fees. Most attorneys handling probate cases follow the Johnson Estate case in Pennsylvania, which set standard fee percentages depending on the size of a probate estate. However, other attorneys charge an hourly rate.
3. Inheritance Taxes
In addition to probate and attorney fees, inheritance taxes (and possibly federal estate taxes) must be paid as well.