What is the Probate Fee and How Long Does Probate Take?
Probate fees, established by statute, are calculated based on all the assets the decedent owned, regardless of whether or not the assets are part of the probate estate. Connecticut's current probate fees and a probate fees estimator can be viewed by clicking here.
While probate is not an inherently expensive process, there are some reasons that can make the probate process more costly.
- Beneficiaries and/or heirs who dispute something along the way, such as contesting the Will, choice of executor, or the value of items.
- An untrustworthy and/or unknowledgeable executor or administrator.
- An ambiguous or inconsistent disposition of property that the decedent left behind.
A majority of probate costs (such as fees from attorneys, accountants or appraisers) are often the result of tax issues that can occur whether or not assets avoid probate and whether or not a trust is used.
The probate court's fee is unavoidable and is required by law to levy on a decedent's taxable estate.
Keep in mind…people who use living trusts have taxable estates and as such have to pay a probate fee even though their assets do not require probate.
And, yes, interest can be charged for late payment of probate fees or if an estate tax return is not filed by the deadline!Does Probate Take a Long Time?
The length of the probate process can vary, depending on the complexity and size of the estate and differing personal situations. In general, a formal probate estate process takes a minimum of 5 months start to finish, but a full year is more typical.
However, the probate process can take longer than a full year in order for the executor to finish taking care of all the needs to be done. (To learn more about the executor's role, watch this video.)
For example, it may take several months after filing the death tax returns to obtain confirmation from the taxing authorities that the return is correct and/or to settle disputes raised by taxing authorities. (A final accounting cannot be filed until it's shown that all taxes have been paid.)
Another situation that can extend the time it takes to complete the probate process is if there was no Will. Furthermore, if the estate is complicated or contains incomplete estate documents, probate could take considerably longer - perhaps even several years.
If you need assistance settling the estate of a loved one, contact us. We are here to help.
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