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My daughter's father died in February. He owned a Disney timeshare. My daughter is the only heir and has contacted lawyers who

Wheaton, IL |

say she needs a summary administration. The cost is 1600.00 to 2000.00 upfront, plus costs such as photo copies and faxes and phone calls are extra. Can we file paperwork on our own and why is the fee as much as it is? I'm disheartened at giving someone a ton of money when it seems that the filing is pretty straightforward. I found forms online for 29.95.

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Attorney answers 6


This is not a family law question. It is a probate question. I will change the practice area for you.

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Peggy M. Raddatz

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Really the lawyers you called should answer that question. They can tell you what their costs are itemized. Be very careful about buying documents online. Theses documents are often useless in a court of law. Also if you fill them out wrong you can be irreparably harmed. If aw was just that easy as filling out some papers there would be no need for lawyers to study eight to nine years and taking there'd day long bar exams. Really I am just telling you this so you do it right. Sometimes the cost of doing it the right way far outweighs the risk of not. Be wise. The timeshare is probably worth it.


The exact cost for a probate administration depends upon many factors, such as the amount of property, the number of heirs, and whether there is a contest, to name a few. Oftentimes, the fees can be structured to come out of the estate and the cost can be lower up front. As for do it yourself form websites, you get what you pay for. I have several clients who used the do it yourself forms and they are spending thousands now to clean up the mess. Check with more than one attorney to compare services and fees. Use the Find a Lawyer feature on this site to find qualified local probate attorneys.

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You should call several attorneys and get quotes. You can also check if the courthouse in the jurisdiction where your daughter's father resided has a self-service center with forms and instructions.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


The online forms will probably be insufficient and could cause problems which in the long run would cost far more than what has been quoted. While you may think the fee is high, it is very reasonable. Does your daughter want this done correctly the first time or does she want to spend additional time and money to have it corrected after it was done wrong? Since she has contacted lawyers, may we assume your daughter is an adult? She should call around to seek information from other probate attorneys. We all charge for our time. Copies and faxes are charged by some, not all, but are a minimal expense.


Unless Disney opened a park in Illinois (if so, please don't tell my family), then this is a Florida (or California) probate law question. Timeshares can be a real hassle to transfer. The attorneys are quoting for the time they will need to spend.

Also, before your daughter jumps in, she needs to also determine whether he has any other possible assets that need attention as well. Doing everything right the first time can save headaches down the road.

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I agree with my colleagues. I would suggest that you contact Disney, however, and see if there is a simpler way of handling this. Disney timeshares typically run for 50 years, and my understanding is that they make it relatively easy to pass these on family members.

James Frederick

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