E191 3 Ways to Start Probate With No Upfront Fees

E191 3 Ways to Start Probate With No Upfront Fees


If you’ve done your research, you know that a good probate lawyer is not cheap. So how can you start your probate case even if you can’t pay now?

How much are probate attorney fees?

Lawyer fees for the simplest probate case start at $3,000. But probate is naturally messy, since is involves family, money, death, and high emotions.

So probate fees are usually more, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars!

source: https-::www.ft.com:content:14ea8e2a-0e47-11e7-a88c-50ba212dce4d

When to probate fees have to be paid?

Generally, lawyers require an upfront payment, or retainer, before starting work on your case. The upfront payment is usually a few thousand dollars, depending on the estimated total fees.

Many folks, understandably, just don’t have that money readily available, and ask “can probate fees be paid from the estate,” at the end?

Yes, but only under certain circumstance. Why? Because estates can be unpredictable, with many twists and turns. While you may feel certain that there’ll be plenty of funds to cover the lawyer fees, we’ve often seen:

  • Unexpected mortgages or debts
  • Unknown huge taxes due
  • Assets aren’t worth what you expected
  • Assets had a named beneficiary, and therefore not part of the estate

What to do if you can’t afford probate fees?

If you don’t have the cash on-hand to pay a lawyer’s retainer, here are some of your options to start your probate case now.

Deferred lawyer fee

Work with a lawyer who will accept a deferred fee (paid at the end, from the estate). If you’re able to find a lawyer to work with no upfront payment, expect some conditions.

For example, our office usually only accept deferred fee cases if you’ve also asked me to serve as your professional executor for the estate.

Contingent lawyer fee

Contingent fees are the ultimate “no win, no pay” arrangement. If your lawyer in unable to get your inheritance for you, then you don’t owe any fees. He only gets paid if he succeeds in getting your inheritance.

As you might expect, the trade-off is the fee will be higher than if you paid upfront: usually 1/3 of your recovered inheritance. But if you don’t have the cash to start your case otherwise, you’ll be glad this option even exists.

Contingent fee probate is limited to certain types of cases, such as:

  • Will contests
  • Proving kinship
  • Unknown assets

Request your free consultation

Sign-up for your free consultation using the form above, and I’ll be happy to email you a free chapter from Anthony’s best-selling bookHow Probate Works.”

Name
E189 Can an Executor be Out-of-State?

E189 Can an Executor be Out-of-State?


No, it’s not a good idea to have an out-of-state executor. Although it’s technically legally allowed, in reality an out-of-state executor causes tons of problems.

Banking Problems

Opening the estate account

You probably think opening a bank account is a piece of cake. And you’d be right, if you were opening an account for yourself, personally.

bank kyc

But banking for an estate is a different animal. But an estate account has tougher “know your client” rules, and the executor often must meet with a banker in person, at a branch, to open an estate bank account.

Troubleshooting problems

When you have a problem with your personal bank account, these days you have limitless customer support options. Website, email, live chat, tweets, or call or walk in.

But with estates, you usually must walk into a branch and speak with a banker to get that missing statement or re-issue that 1099. And that can be a pain for an out-of-state executor.

Selling Real Estate

Clean out

Yes, cleaning out the home or apartment is part of the executor’s duties. For an out-of-state executor, this can mean several trips in and out of New York to supervise the clean out.

Closing

source: https-::www.c21redwood.rocks:blog:tag:highland-title

New York is one of the few states where most real estate closings are in-person, with all parties sitting around a table for a few hours.

Yes, it’s sometimes possible to close with an out-of-state executor by signing and FedEx-ing the documents. But if any problems popup (as they often do with estate sales), it’s better to close in-person, so the lawyers can troubleshoot any problems in realtime, and avoid an aborted closing.

Minor stuff (mail forward, etc.)

There are countless small executor tasks to get the home ready for sale. Forwarding the mail, small repairs, returning extra keys, conversations with the super, etc. All much easier to handle with a local, New York executor.

Travel restrictions

travel restrictions

Sometimes an executor simply cannot legally enter the US:

  • Unable to get a visa
  • Immigration problems
  • Quarantine or other travel restrictions

If any of these apply, the heirs may be better off hiring a New York professional executor, rather than a non-New York person.

FREE Copy of The Solo Ager Estate Plan

The Solo Ager Estate Plan Cover 3D
Complete this form to receive your complimentary copy of Anthony’s Amazon best-seller, “The Solo Ager Estate Plan
How to Collect the US Account of a Deceased Foreigner

E142 How to Collect the US Account of a Deceased Foreigner


How to Collect the US Account of a Deceased Foreigner

We help a LOT of non-US heir collect their US inheritance.

So, for example

  • Aunt Barbara was a UK citizen, and lived/died in Spain
  • But she had a few US bank and brokerage accounts >$200k
  • How do Barbara’s nieces and nephews legally get their US inheritance?

In this high-level summary, we’ll describe:

  1. Step 1: Go to local probate court
  2. Step 2: Go to US probate court
  3. Step 3: Get US tax clearance

And lastly, I’ll describe a few of the seemingly simply tasks that can cause surprisingly long delays

==========

READ

Pick up my books on Amazon. Reviews always appreciated!

==========

JOIN

Sign up to my email list for book announcements

==========

WATCH

Subscribe to my YouTube channel

==========

LISTEN

Subscribe to the “Simple Money Wins” podcast at:

==========

How Does US Estate Tax Work for Foreigners and Nonresident Aliens 956x 538

How Does US Estate Tax Work for Foreigners and Nonresident Aliens?

If a foreigner or non-resident alien died owning US accounts, the estate may owe US estate tax.

Any US bank or brokerage will need proof of tax clearance before they can release any funds to you.

Let’s talk about:

When does US estate tax apply?
How much is US estate tax?
What are the steps to get US estate tax clearance?

out of state probate maureen

How to Probate a Will Out-of-State with Maureen Pritchard

Anthony shares the mic with his friend, Maureen Pritchard, a probate and estate attorney. Estates are always an issue to families of a decedent, and to clear things up in this area, Maureen shares her expertise with us. Listen as she answers common questions regarding probate and the decedent’s estate.