How Much Does It Cost to Probate an Estate in Michigan?

After a loved one has passed away, you may wonder how much it will cost to probate their estate in Michigan. The probate process involves several expenses, which vary depending on the size and complexity of the estate.

Understanding the Probate Process in Michigan

The probate process distributes a person’s assets, such as real estate, investments, and bank accounts, following their death. In many cases, the probate process will follow the terms of a person’s will. A will allows a person to appoint someone to serve as the executor of their estate to administer the probate process.

The probate process will involve some expense, although the precise cost to probate an estate will depend on the value and complexity of the estate. High-value, complex estates typically cost more to administer than simple estates.

Common Probate Expenses

Some of the most common categories of probate expenses include:

  • Court Filing Fees – Starting the probate process in court requires filing a petition for probate, which usually carries a filing fee of around $150 in Michigan, although the exact fee depends on the county. However, courts can waive filing fees for good cause.
  • Publication Expenses – During the probate process, an executor may publish notice of the decedent’s death and the opening of the estate in newspapers or other publications to put potential heirs or creditors on notice to bring their claims to court. Publication expenses can reach several hundred dollars, depending on the publication and the size of the notice.
  • Appraisal Expenses – The probate process may require obtaining appraisals for complex or high-value assets, such as real estate, artwork, or business ownership interests. Expert appraiser fees can reach into the thousands of dollars.
  • Legal Fees – Many executors will hire an estate planning attorney to guide them through the probate process, assist with legal paperwork, and represent the executor’s interests if any legal disputes arise during the probate process. Legal fees can vary from several thousand to tens of thousands.
  • Professional Advisor Fees – An executor may need to hire other professional advisors, such as accountants, investment advisors, or business managers, to manage and preserve estate assets during the probate process.
  • Personal Representative Fees – An executor may have the right to receive reasonable fees for their services to the estate.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Probate

Various factors will affect the total cost to probate a decedent’s estate. The primary circumstances that affect probate expenses include:

  • Size and Complexity of the Estate – Larger estates or estates with complex or highly valuable assets will cost more to probate since the probate process usually takes longer and requires the assistance of professional advisors such as accountants, appraisers, or investment advisors.
  • Will Contests and Other Legal Disputes – Probate may incur significant legal expenses if heirs, creditors, or other interested parties raise legal disputes during the process, such as contesting the will’s validity, seeking to remove the executor, or demanding an accounting.
  • Professional Advisors’ Hourly Fees and Experience – Executors can control probate costs based on their selection of professional advisors. However, hiring experienced advisors can make the probate process more efficient and reduce costs.

Contact a Probate Lawyer Today

When you need to probate a loved one’s estate, get the legal help you need to work through the complexities of the probate process. Contact Bingham Legal Group today for an initial consultation to learn more about the probate costs in Michigan.