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Do Personal Representatives Of Probate Estates Get Paid In California?


In most cases, Personal Representatives, also known as Executors and Administrators, are entitled to payment for their work. Serving as the Personal Representative of a deceased person’s probate estate is a time-consuming job.  However, The Probate Guy makes it easy and much less time consuming by taking care of just about everything for you.  Many times, the probate process lasts for over a year. Therefore, if you’ve just learned that you were chosen to be the Executor of someone’s estate or your siblings have chosen you to be the Administrator of a Probate estate, you are justified to be wondering whether you will be compensated for your work.

So, do Personal Representatives of Probate estates get paid in California? Under California Law, an Executor or Personal Representative aka Administrator can obtain compensation for working on a Probate estate. California Probate Code §10810 dictates how much a Personal Representative is paid.  You are not required to work for free but you can waive your fee if you choose.

Compensation as Per California’s Probate Fee Schedule

Usually, California law determines how much the Personal Representative of a Probate estate receives as payment. Under California law, Executor and Administrator compensation is based on a percentage of the Probate estate’s value. According to the California law, Executor and Administrator Probate compensation is determined based on the Probate estate’s gross value. The gross value of a Probate estate is the estate’s worth without any deduction for loans, obligations or debts.  Thus, if the house is sold for $500,000 and there is a loan of $300,000 the probate estate compensation is determined by the $500,000 (gross value) rather than the $200,000. (net value). Under California Probate Code §10810, a Personal Representative is entitled to compensation as follows:

  1. 4% of the first $100,000
  2. 3% of the next $100,000
  3. 2% of the next $800,000
  4. 1 percent of the next $9 million
  5. 5% of the next $15 million
  6. A reasonable amount to be decided by the court for all amounts above $25 million

So, for instance, a Personal Representative representing a California estate worth $1 million would get paid $23,000. In the scenario above, the Personal Representative’s fee for a $500,000 house sale would be $13,000.

If more than one Personal Representative is administering an estate, the representatives would have to divide the fee between or among themselves.

Compensation Set by Will

Sometimes, an individual will state in their Will how much they want an Executor to receive as compensation. In such a case, the Executor managing such a decedent’s Probate estate will be paid only the amount provided for in the Will.

Additional Compensation

Sometimes, the court can allow additional compensation. Usually, this happens if an Executor or Administrator has provided “extraordinary” services such as conducting litigation or running a business.

Contact The Probate Guy for Legal Help

If you want to know more about Executor and Administrator compensation or need help probating a deceased person’s Probate estate, contact the qualified and dedicated California probate attorney Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy today to schedule a free telephonic consultation.


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