Probate fee calculator- what is a probate fee?
Probate fee calculator includes a statutory fee for attorneys and a statutory fee for executors/administrator
What is a statutory fee? A statutory fee is a fee that is set and approved by a court or a statute.
Provisions for compensation of the personal representative and the attorney for the personal representative are contained in California Probate Code 10800-10850.
The representative and attorney are entitled to compensation for ordinary services based on a percentage of the estate. Under the California probate code 10810
“(a) Subject to the provisions of this part, for ordinary services the attorney for the personal representative shall receive compensation based on the value of the estate accounted for by the personal representative, as follows:
(1) Four percent on the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(2) Three percent on the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(3) Two percent on the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000).
(4) One percent on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000).
(5) One-half of 1 percent on the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
(6) For all amounts above twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000), a reasonable amount to be determined by the court.”
Probate fee calculator – some special fee could be included
Separate provisions also allow a fee for extraordinary services by the representative and the attorney. Unlike fees for ordinary services, fees for extraordinary services are based on time and difficulty of service and are awarded only at the court’s discretion.
If the representative is not a bank or trust company, or professional fiduciary, it is likely that the representative may be unfamiliar with how compensation is determined. Consequently, it is essential for the attorney to inform the representative as soon as possible about which matters entitle the representative and attorney to compensation for ordinary or extraordinary services. In the representative-attorney retainer agreement, which is recommended but not required, the attorney should explain the compensation statutes and specify the fees and costs that can be anticipated in the probate administration.
There is one statutory commission for ordinary services by the personal representative and one statutory attorney fee for ordinary services, regardless of the number of representatives or attorneys. If there are two or more concurrent or successive representatives, their compensation must be apportioned among them on the basis of the agreement of the multiple representatives or, if there is no agreement, according to the services actually rendered by each of them.
The executor/administrator is allowed all necessary expenses of administration. and in addition, is compensated for services rendered. Allowable administration expenses include but are not limited to necessary expenses in the care, management, preservation, and settlement of the estate
PROBATE FEE CALCULATOR – WHAT YOU ARE PAYING FOR
The amount of compensation for ordinary services to the estate is identical for both the executor/administrator and the attorney. This compensation is for performance of the ordinary duties of collection, care, and preservation of estate property during the entire administration. It is also intended to cover incidental expenses, such as photocopies, local telephone calls, postage, computer research, local travel and mileage, and secretarial or clerical services. The representative may petition the court for reimbursement of additional expenses, such as travel to attend to estate business.
Ordinary services by a representative include services performed in locating and assembling estate assets, paying claims, collecting rents, leasing property, accounting, and making payments necessary to complete the administration. If the representative chooses to employ an agent to perform services that are attributable to carrying out the representative’s ordinary duties, the fees for those services will be charged against the representative’s ordinary compensation. For example, preparing the final accounting is considered part of the representative’s duties; therefore, if the representative hires an accountant to prepare the accounting, the accountant’s fees will be paid from the representative’s ordinary compensation.
If the attorney undertakes to perform some of the duties of the appointed personal representative, there should be a written agreement between the representative and the attorney