After practicing probate for more than 10 years, changes in the rules about costs associated with probate have become more about “when” they will happen and not “if”. Now in 2017, the courts are guided by some very general rules. To sum it up, there’s no limit to probate cost or fees.
Arizona Goes By A “Reasonable Fee” Standard
Experience tells us that the fees usually are very unreasonable. The problem with this as the rule is that there is no standard. Probate lawyers simply must show that what they are charging is similar to what others would charge in the same situation. When the whole Probate system is set up to pay the creditors first, it’s no surprise that their fees end up being gigantic. Sadly, it is often the beneficiaries who discover probate cost inflation after it is too late.
Incapacity Is The WORST Offender In Gauging High Probate Cost
When Arizona probate courts get really expensive is when someone becomes incapacitated. That type of probate case is called a guardianship or a conservatorship. You may have seen cases of financial abuse that were approved by the probate court judges. Some were so bad that people passed with $1 million in assets and entered that system to get help, and were left applying for welfare later because all of their money was gone. Imagine that horrific situation. A person works his or her entire life to leave a legacy to family members. Then, because their estate was not implemented correctly or was nonexistent, probate cost ate away the nest egg.
We at Keystone Law Firm are passionate about helping people avoid the nightmares and high costs associated with probate. Every day, we help people create estate plans that are guaranteed to avoid probate and the high costs and losses they create. Call us at (480) 418-8448. We offer services for clients throughout Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Apache Junction.