Avoidance of probate fees is one of many benefits of funding a revocable trust, particularly in South Carolina where there is no cap on probate fees. Under the South Carolina Code, the probate fee is $845 on the first $600,000 of estate assets plus $0.0025 in excess of $600,000. For example, for a decedent with probate assets titled in the decedent’s name of $1,000,000, the filing fee is $2,845 ($845 + .0025 x $400,000). For decedent with zero probate assets and $1,000,000 of assets titled in the name of decedent’s revocable trust, the probate fee for assets of $0 to $4,999 is $25. The difference between funding a revocable trust and not funding a revocable trust can be significant.
To fund a revocable trust consider changing ownership and titling of accounts such as bank, brokerage, stocks, bonds, and real estate; assigning rights in certain assets such as tangible personal property, notes receivable, partnership and LLC interests; and updating beneficiaries for life insurance.
The Trusts and Estates Group of Johnson Allison Hord is available to assist with funding revocable trusts in both North Carolina and South Carolina to minimize probate fees.