California Probate Fees
Currently, California Probate Code 10800 sets the compensation for the Personal Representative and for the Attorney for the Personal Representative of an Estate that is subject to Probate as follows:
- Four percent on the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
- Three percent on the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
- Two percent on the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000).
- One percent on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000).
- One-half of one percent on the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
- Above twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000), a reasonable amount to be determined by the Court.
According to this schedule, the Probate fee on an estate of $1,000,000 is equal to $23,000.
Please bear in mind, that this is the fee to be paid to both the attorney and the personal representative.
While many personal representatives forgo their share of the fee, not all will do so. Therefore, it is possible that the full probate fee on an estate of $1,000,000 is equal to $46,000! And that is not including court filing fees!
1. Investigate local, state, and national down payment assistance programs. These programs give qualified applicants loans or grants to cover all or part of your required down payment. National programs include the Nehemiah program, www.getdownpayment.com, and the American Dream Down Payment Fund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, www.hud.gov.
2. Explore seller financing. In some cases, sellers may be willing to finance all or part of the purchase price of the home and let you repay them gradually, just as you would do with a mortgage.
3. Consider a shared-appreciation or shared-equity arrangement. Under this arrangement, your family, friends, or even a third-party may buy a portion of the home and share in any appreciation when the home is sold. The owner/occupant usually pays the mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance costs, but all the investors’ names are usually on the mortgage. Companies are available that can help you find such an investor, if your family can t participate.
4. Ask your family for help. Perhaps a family member will loan you money for the down payment or act as a co-signer for the mortgage. Lenders often like to have a co-signer if you have little credit history.
5. Lease with the option to buy. Renting the home for a year or more will give you the chance to save more toward your down payment. And in many cases, owners will apply some of the rental amount toward the purchase price. You usually have to pay a small, nonrefundable option fee to the owner.
6. Consider a short-term second mortgage. If you can qualify for a short-term second mortgage, this would give you money to make a larger down payment. This may be possible if you re in good financial standing, with a strong income and little other debt.
Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.