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Statutory Probate Fees in California

Statutory Probate Fees in California

The fees charged by the executor or administrator of an estate in probate, as well as that of the probate attorney, are set by law as a percentage of the estate's value. Either party may waive the entire fee or any portion of it and take a lesser amount.

The fees that can be charged are computed from a fee base. The fee base is taken from the inventory filed with the court and consists of the total fair market value of the assets included in the estate, income received during the probate period, and any capital gains realized through the sale of estate assets less any capital loss. If the inventory was waived, then the fee basis is restricted to the inventory value of the estate's assets. In computing the fee, liabilities are excluded.

The fee base is then calculated, based on a percentage as follows:

Percentage Fee Cumulative Fee
4% of the first $100,000 $4,000 $4,000
3% of the next $100,000 $3,000 $7,000
2% of the next $800,000 $16,000 $23,000
1% of the next $9,000,000,000 $90,000 $113,000
0.5% of the next $15,000,000 $75,000 $188,000

If the estate exceeds $25,000,000 in value, the court will determine the amount of the fee for the excess.

The executor or administrator and attorney may receive their fees based on the following estate sizes:

Size of Estate Statutory Fee
$100,000 $4,000
$200,000 $7,000
$300,000 $9,000
$400,000 $11,000
$500,000 $13,000
$600,000 $15,000
$700,000 $17,000
$800,000 $19,000
$900,000 $21,000
$1,000,000 $23,000
$1,250,000 $25,000
$1,500,000 $28,000
$1,750,000 $30,500
$2,000,000 $33,000
$2,000,000 $43,000
$3,000,000 $53,000
$4,000,000 $63,000
$5,000,000 $73,000
$6,000,000 $83,000
$7,000,000 $93,000
$8,000,000 $103,000
$9,000,000 $113,000

The listed statutory fee is that for the executor or administrator as well as for the attorney, and is the same for both. If the fee base is determined on an estate valued at $300,000, they receive $9,000 each. They do not split the fee between them.

In addition to the statutory fee, either or both of the attorney and the executor or administrator may request extraordinary fees for services performed that exceed the statutory amount. The court will usually award additional compensation for activities such as preparing and filing of tax returns, selling assets including real property, litigating lawsuits against the estate, continuing an existing business, and performing certain other tasks. The amount requested for this additional work varies and depends on the time involved in performing a necessary task and is subject to court approval and discretion.

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Esquire Law Group is committed to answering your questions about Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Administration law issues in Southern California.

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