From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag:” Do I pay probate fees on real property located outside of Pennsylvania? Do I even list it on the Register of Wills’ Inventory? I am the executor of my mother’s estate in Philadelphia. She died owning a New Jersey shore home. Do I list this on the Philadelphia Register of Wills’ Inventory and then pay a probate fee?
In Pennsylvania, probate begins when the executor files the original Will and death certificate with the Register of Wills. The Register keeps the Will and death certificate. In exchange, the Register officially recognizes the executor. The Register charges a small fee for this service.
The “probate estate’s” size determines the Register’s fee. The probate estate is the portion of the estate that passes through the Will. Things like accounts with beneficiary designations or jointly held real property do not pass through the Will. These pass “outside of probate.”
The Probate Estate Determines Probate Fees.
You give an estimated value of the “probate estate” when you first Petition the Register. The initial estimate determines the initial fee. The Executor must then file a “verified inventory” within nine months. The inventory states the exact value of all probate assets. If the final value exceeds the initial estimated value, the Register may levy an additional amount. Some assets, though, are excluded from paying the fee.
The Inventory Lists Foreign Real Estate, but This Does Not Increase the Fee.
The executor must list on the inventory real estate located outside the Commonwealth but in a separate section at the. There is no need to provide value. The Register charges no fee on the real property located outside of Pennsylvania.
So, you must identify the deceased’s non-Pennsylvania real estate but pay no fee on the value.
Contact our office for a free consultation if you have further questions about your duties as an Executor. We are happy to assist with any Probate issues. We can help you with the entire estate or any small part. Some executors like us to handle the entire job, but others just need help with the Inheritance Tax Return or sale of real estate. We are flexible and happy to help where help is needed.
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation It’s All We Do!
Peter Klenk, Esq.