Probate Fees For The Personal Representative And Attorney

Probate Fees For The Personal Representative And Attorney

Basic Probate Fees for the Attorney and Personal Repreasentative
The basic minimum fee for a probate attorney is set by Probate Code § 10810 and provides for a fee to be based on a percentage of the value of the probated estate.  The formula from Probate Code §10810 is as follows:
  • 4% on the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), plus
  • 3% on the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), plus
  • 2% on the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000), plus
  • 1% on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000), plus
  • One-half of 1% on the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
For purposes of this section, the value of the estate account for by the personal representative is the total amount of the appraisal of property in the inventory, plus gains over the appraisal value on sales, plus receipts, less losses from the appraisal value on sales, without reference to encumbrances or other obligations on estate property.  Probate Code §10810(b).  Mortgages and other loans are not taken into consideration in computing the fee base nor are disbursements for debts or expenses. 
Both the probate attorney and the personal representative are entitled to this fee and the court has no discretion to reduce the amount of fees.  The exception to this is if the personal representative has unreasonably delayed the closing of the estate or otherwise engaged in mismanagement of the estate they may be surcharged by the Court. Also, any fee that the personal representative makes will  go on their personal tax return as income so they may choose not to take a fee if they will otherwise be receiving property from the estate as an inheritance which is not income.
No fees may be paid except by Order of the Court though reimbursement for expenses advanced by the Personal Representative or the Attorney, such as filing fees, publication costs, etc., may be reimbursed without a Court Order.
Extraordinary Compensation 
California Rule of Court Rule 7.703 allows for the Probate Court to provide additional compensation, known as extraordinary compensation, to both the Personal Representative and the Attorney for providing certain services.  These fees are within the discretion of the Court and require court approval before they may be paid.  In awarding extraordinary fees, the court may consider the amount of statutory compensation when determining a justified and reasonable amount for an extraordinary fee.  
Examples of extraordinary services which a personal representative can be compensated for including:
  • Selling, leasing, exchanging, financing or forelocising real property or personal property;
  • Carrying on decedent’s business if necessary to preserve the estate or under court order;
  • Preparing tax returns; and
  • Handling audits or litigation connected with tax liabilities of the decedent or the Estate.
Examples of extraordinary services with an attorney can be compensated for include:
  • Legal services in connection with the sale of property held in the estate;
  • Services to secure a loan to pay estate debts;
  • Litigation undertaken to benefit the estate or to protect its interests;
  • Defense of the personal representative’s account;
  • Defense of a will contested after its admission to probate;
  • Successful defense of a will contested before its admission to probate;
  • Extraordinary efforts to locate estate assets;
  • Litigation in support of attorney’s request for extraordinary compensation, where prior compensation awards are not adequate compensation under all the circumstances;
  • Coordination of ancillary administration; and
  • Accounting for a deceased, incapacitated, or absconded personal representative under Probate Code §10953
Category :
Share :

Our team of expert Attorneys and Brokers includes the most experienced, trusted and respected professionals in our community.  Our Consultations are always free and your best interest is always our only concern.

Keep Updated - Subscribe

Subscribe to our newsletter so we can touch you with offers and discounts.

© 2023 Grossman Real Estate.