How Much Does Probate Cost?

If you have a will, your family will need to open an estate and probate your will in order to receive property left to them in your will. There are several different types of costs associated with the probate process. These costs include court fees and costs, executor compensation, attorney fees, and other costs. The total cost of probate will depend on the size of the estate and the length of the probate process. Probate usually takes a year if there are no problems or family disagreements. If there are family disagreements or will challenges, probate can take multiple years. The largest fees will usually be the executor's fee and any attorney fees. Executors/Personal Representatives are entitled to a fee based on a percentage of the estate. This fee is usually around five percent of the value of the probate estate. You may also need to hire a CPA to assist in the preparation of tax returns. Lastly, there are court costs and fees. These fees are listed below for North and South Carolina and are usually not very high,. However, the fees listed below do not include the cost of petitions, motions, and hearings.

North Carolina Fees

The probate fee is a small percentage of the value of the probate assets owned by the decedent on the date of death. For new administrations and estate proceedings, the 2014 fee is $120.00 plus 0.40/100.00 of the gross estate with a minimum fee per filing of $15.00 and a maximum cumulative fee of $6,000.00. There is a separate General Court of Justice Fee on the value of the gross estate as assessed at the time of the Inventory and at each Accounting.

South Carolina Fees

In South Carolina, the filing fees are as follows:

Assets of the Regular Estate            Filing Fee
$0.00 to $4,999  $25.00
$5,000 to $19,999  $45.00
$20,000 to $59,999 $67.50
$60,000 to $99,999 $95.00
$100,000 to $599,999  $95.00 plus .0015 in excess of $100,000
$600,000 and above $845.00 on the first $600,000 plus .0025 in excess of $600,000


Small Estate Affidavit or Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property

Assets Less than or Equal to $100.00          


$101.00 to $4,999.99


$5,000.00 to $19,999.99


$20.000.00 to 25,000.00


Includes $5.00 certification fee


*Pursuant to SC Code of Laws §8-21-770

Help with Probate

More questions? Contact Nancy at 704-887-5242