Probate Services and Fees

Following are estimated probate fees for simple estates. "Probate fees" are the cost of transferring title to property, and do not include the cost of preparing tax returns (if required).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Fee estimates assume that there are no disputes of any kind among the beneficiaries and creditors of the estate. If there is a will, these estimates assume that the will was properly drafted. The following estimates are subject to revision on a monthly basis.


Estate with written will


Independent Administration

Collin County -- $2,100

Dallas County -- $2,300

If there is a properly drafted will, the estate may qualify for "independent administration." This is the standard probate procedure, and may be completed in 1-3 months. The fees listed above do not include county filing fees and court costs, which typically run between $200 and $250. The will is usually probated in the county where the deceased person lived.


Will as a Muniment of Title

Collin County -- $1,400

Dallas County -- $1,600

If there is a properly drafted will and the estate has no debts (other than mortgages on real estate), the estate may qualify for this simplified procedure. This procedure may be completed in 1-3 months. The fees listed above do not include county filing fees and court costs, which typically run between $200 and $250. The will is usually probated in the county where the deceased person lived.


Estate without written will


Heirship Proceeding -- $4,000 minimum, but could be much higher

If there is no will and the estate is worth more than $75,000 (not including certain assets), it may be necessary for a judge to determine who the heirs are. The judge may appoint an "attorney ad litem" to represent the interests of potential or "unknown" heirs. The exact cost depends on the number of heirs and the complexity of the estate, but is generally more expensive than probating a will. Furthermore, if property passes to minor children, it may be necessary to establish a guardianship, which can be very costly.

The fee listed above does not include county filing fees, court costs, or the fee of the attorney ad litem.


Small Estate Affidavit -- $800 + $150-200 court costs

If there is no will and the estate is worth less than $75,000 (not including certain assets), the estate may qualify for this procedure. The cost depends on the number of heirs and the difficulty in reaching them, but is generally much less expensive than an heirship proceeding. However, if property passes to minor children, it may be necessary to establish a guardianship, which can be very costly.


Copyright 1998-2018 by Dianne Reis.