Real estate inheritor jaded by probate fees

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DEAR BOB: My dad died about six months ago. He was the surviving joint-tenant owner of the house where he and my mother lived for 34 years. She died in 1998. I am their only child. But my father did not leave a will. As I live about 600 miles away, I have no use for the house and want to sell it. However, a local probate attorney tells me that because there was no will or a living trust, a probate court proceeding is required. He said there is an expedited procedure, but it will take about six months, maybe longer. His fee, according to the state statute, will be about $6,400. This seems like a waste of time and money. Is this information correct? --Matt W. DEAR MATT: Your dad died "intestate" without a written will, so his estate must be probated according to the state law of intestate succession where he resided. That requires notifying his possible creditors to file any claims, as well as checking to be sure there aren't any other relatives entitled to a possible inheritance. Purcha...