As of July 1, 2015, Connecticut probate courts earned the dubious distinction of charging the highest probate fees in the U.S. Amazingly, the Connecticut legislature voted to completely cut general fund support for the state’s probate courts for the next two fiscal years, thereby creating a $32 million deficit. In order to cover the shortfall, the fees charged for settling a deceased person’s estate in Connecticut were significantly increased and the $12,500 cap on probate fees was eliminated. To make matters worse, these changes apply retroactively to all deaths dating back to January 1, 2015. As a result, it is estimated that a handful of Connecticut estates will owe in excess of $1 million in probate fees and at least a dozen will owe in excess of $100,000.
Which Other States Also Charge High Probate Fees?
Connecticut’s new fee structure assesses a 0.5 percent fee on estates worth more than $2 million and most probate court filing fees were also increased from $150 to $225. While both North Carolina and New Jersey assess probate fees of 0.4 percent, North Carolina’s fee is capped at $6,000, but New Jersey does not have a cap. In Maryland the probate fee for an estate valued between $2 million and $5 million is $2,500 and for estates valued over $5 million the fee is $2,500 plus .02 percent of the excess over $5 million.Continue reading