Another increase in North Carolina court fees: As of August 1, 2007, testamentary trusts (those contained in a Will) which account to the clerk are subject a fee of 40 cents per $100 of receipts. That fee is entirely separate from the probate fee paid by the estate. Thus, if a Will creates 8 testamentary trusts (all of which are required to account to the clerk), each of those testamentary trusts is subject to a probate fee of up to $6,000. Apparently, this change in the law applies to all testamentary trusts, including those that have been accounting to the clerk’s office for years and have been paying only a $20 annual filing fee.
To avoid this fee, the Will must provide that the Trustee of the trust is not required to file accountings with the clerk.
Fees for probate have been increasing steadily over the last few years. All the more reason to use a living trust!