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How Much Does Probate Cost in Florida?

A senior couple meeting with a financial advisor in Florida to review their estate plan.

The cost to settle an estate through probate in Florida can range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the estate. In addition to modest court costs, more sizable fees will likely go for attorneys and executors. These costs are on top of other payments that the estate could likely have to make, such as to creditors. Some fees are set by Florida state law, often as a percentage of the assets in the estate, while others are under the control of individual counties. Estates may also be required to pay more in some cases, such as executors receiving a commission for selling real estate include in the estate. A financial advisor can help you figure out how much settling your Florida estate is likely to cost.

Florida Probate Costs Overview

Among the issues with probate is the cost, which can reduce the size of an estate while also delaying the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. It is common for states to place some limits on the fees that attorneys and others can charge for assisting estates through probate. Some states only require that the fees be reasonable. Florida is more specific, specifying in some cases the dollar amount of fees that advisors can charge.

Counties where the probate courts are located also collect fees. Fees may be levied for a variety of probate court services, ranging from a few dollars to issue a summons to a few hundred dollars to file a counterclaim contesting one or more terms of a will. Even summary administration, an abbreviated settlement process bypassing probate that is allowed for small estates, may incur fees of roughly $300 levied by the county.

Calculating Florida Probate Costs

A mother and daughter in Florida reviewing an estate plan.

Special circumstances can have a sizable effect on costs. For example, if a business has to be sold in order to settle the estate, that process likely will generate significant additional costs for appraising, preparing, marketing and facilitating the sale. Payments for performing these tasks may go to numerous service providers, such as appraisers and brokers. Barring circumstances such as these, fees paid to attorneys and executors are likely to represent much or most of the costs directly related to settling the estate.

Florida law sets up a sliding scale limiting fees that lawyers can charge for helping to settling an estate. Lawyers aren’t required to charge these amounts and some may charge less. Fees are also subject to negotiation. The sliding scale charges higher fees based on the size of the state. Smaller estates can be charged a flat fee. With larger estates, allowable fees are based on percentages of the value of the estate. Here are fees Florida law sets out for attorneys shepherding an estate through probate:   

Estate valueFormulaDollar amount
$40,000 or lessFlat fee$1,500
$40,000 to $70,000Flat fee$2,250
$70,000 to $100,000Flat fee$3,000
$100,000 to $900,000$3,000 for first $100,000, plus 3% of balance$3,000 to $27,000
$1 million to $3 million$30,000 for first $1 million plus 2.5% of balance$30,000 to $80,000
$3 million to $5 million$80,000 for first $3 million, plus 2% of balance$80,000 to $120,000
$5 million to $10 million$100,000 for first $5 million plus 1.4% of balance$120,000 to $195,000
Above $10 million$195,000 for first $10 million, plus 1% of balance$195,000 and up

The estate value in the table is limited to assets that are subject to probate. That means, for example, it won’t include the value of a personal residence.

This may not be all the fees an attorney may charge for handling an estate in probate court. An attorney may charge a similar additional commission for acting as a personal representative of the estate.

In addition to the attorney fees, an estate going to probate is likely to pay fees to the executor. As with attorneys, Florida law sets out sliding fees for executors. These are based on the size of the estate and calculated as percentages of the estate value as follows:

Estate ValuePercentage
Up to $1 million3%Up to $30,000
$1 million to $5 million$30,000 on first $1 million, plus 2.5% of balance$30,000 to $130,000
$5 million to $10 million$130,000 on first $5 million, plus 2% of balance$130,000 to $230,000
Over $10 million$230,000 on first $10 million plus 1.5% of balance$230,000 and up

The executor fees are charged on the gross size of the estate. That is, the fee is based on the estate’s value before it is reduced by payments to creditors and other entities with claims on the estate. Executors are not always compensated for their services. Sometimes family or friends may take on the job without pay.

Bottom Line

A woman looking up the cost of probate in Florida.

Going through probate in Florida can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars for setting a modest-sized estate without the help of an attorney to potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for an estate worth several million dollars. Fees paid to attorneys and executors will likely present most of the costs of going through probate. These fees are limited by statute but are negotiable and may be less than the law allows. Court costs will also have to be paid, but these are likely to be much less than the legal and executor fees.

Tips for Estate Planning

  • You don’t have to try to figure out what settling your estate will cost on your own. A financial advisor can help. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • SmartAsset’s guide to Florida inheritance law will give you a general overview of what could happen to your estate in the Sunshine State.

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