Probate is the court supervised process to distribute your assets to the next generation. Clients like to avoid probate for 3 main reasons:
A common misconception is that the government gets the money from probate - but that's not entirely true. It is the attorney who helps the family through probate that is entitled to the fees. There are significant costs in addition to the attorney's fees shown here - such as newspaper filings, court filing fees, court appointed appraiser fees, and more!
Don't miss the fact that the probate court doesn't care about the 'encumbrances' - that means if the house is worth $300,000 the probate fees will be $9,000, plus costs regardless of any fact that the house has a mortgage against it in the amount of $270,000.
Here is the actual code spelling out the costs:
Compensation of Attorney For the Personal Representative [10810 - 10814] ( Heading of Article 2 amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 563, Sec. 27. )
10810. (a) Subject to the provisions of this part, for ordinary services the attorney for the personal representative shall receive compensation based on the value of the estate accounted for by the personal representative, as follows:
(b) For the purposes of this section, the value of the estate accounted for by the personal representative is the total amount of the appraisal of property in the inventory, plus gains over the appraisal value on sales, plus receipts, less losses from the appraisal value on sales, without reference to encumbrances or other obligations on estate property.