If a party’s will does not specifically explain how executor compensation should be created, specific rules must be followed. In the state of California, the state executor is known as the personal representative, and compensation outlined by the will can only be altered if the court approves an executor’s petition requesting relief from those provisions.

In general, California executors have to meet expectations for compensation and cannot charge unreasonable amounts for their work.

California law bases compensation for an executor on a gross value of the estate, without considering obligations or debts. This breaks down to:

  • A 4% payment on the first $100,000 in the estate.
  • 3% on the next $100,000 beyond the initial $100k.
  • 2% on the next $800k in asset value.
  • 1% on the next $9 million in estate value.
  • 5% on their next $15 million in total estate value.

This is outlined under California Probate Code 10800-10805. The court can also approve additional compensation or what is known as extraordinary services. Make sure that you understand the importance of selecting the right personal representative in your California estate. You don’t have to approach this process on your own. Get help from an attorney you can trust.

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