May 25, 2009 | 1 Comment What are the fees to Probate an estate? In California, both the personal representative (an executor or administrator) and the personal representative’s attorney are entitled to compensation. If the Will specifies the compensation, then that’s all they can receive (P.C. 10812). If the Will doesn’t specify, then the personal representative and the attorney are each entitled to fees for ordinary services (P.C. 10810) and fees for extraordinary services (P.C. 10811). Fees for extraordinary services must be approved by the Court and are in an amount that the Court considers “just and reasonable”. But fees for ordinary services are set according to the gross value of the estate, without reference to encumbrances or other obligations. In other words, if your home has a fair market appraisal of $1,000,000 then the fees are set on that amount, even if you have a $900,000 outstanding mortgage! Here is the fee table, based on gross value of the estate: Fee Percent Of What Amount? Max Executor Fee Max Lawyer Fee Total Fees Minimum Loss 4% First $100,000 4,000 4,000 8,000 8% of total estate 3% Next $100,000 3,000 3,000 14,000 7% of total estate 2% Next $800,000 16,000 16,000 46,000 4.6% of total estate 1% Next $9,000,000 90,000 90,000 226,000 2.2% of total estate 0.5% Next $15,000,000 75,000 75,000 376,000 1.5% of total estate “reasonable amount” Over $25,000,000 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown What does this tell us? First, that everyone needs to avoid probate. Second, that the smaller the estate, the harder the beneficiaries will be hurt by probate fees. Contact a qualified estate planning attorneyin your area, or call the Law Office of Daniel K. Printz at (858) 740-4370 to make an appointment.