by Mo Johnson
Probate taxes or fees are one disadvantage to taking an estate through probate -- and therefore, an advantage of putting your assets in a living trust that avoids probate.
However, probate taxes are generally not very much. They are usually established by the jurisdiction where probate occurs. For instance, I took my grandmother's estate through probate in Fairfax County, Virginia. The probate tax there was (and is still) 1/10th of 1% and is a state probate tax. So, if, for example, you have $500,000 worth of probate property, the probate tax on that will amount to $500. There are also other miscellaneous fees that are charged, but they all don't amount to much really -- maybe another $100 or so for the typical estate. You can see them all listed at Fairfax County Virginia Probate Tax and Fee Rates
Still, it is something to consider. Of course the bigger problem with probate is the time and work it takes to go through probate, the inventories, accounting, filings, etc -- and the professional fees likely to be incurred along the way. You can learn more about that by following along at my probate story