Is the fee determined by the Executor who can ask for any amount. Or is it determined by a percent of the total estate?
Neither. The fee for a Personal Representative is must be reasonable given the circumstances of the estate: how much time was required, what skills were required, etc. The reasonableness is determined by the court. RCW 11.48.210
If, on the other hand, the will outlines a fee, or lack of a fee, that will control.
This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit www.justinelderlaw.com.
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Estate Planning Attorney
Mr. Elder is correct that the executor's compensation must be reasonable and the court will determine what is reasonable. The Executor should keep good records of the time they spend handling estate matters and should have their compensation approved by the court. Typically this will include an explanation of a reasonable hourly rate times the number of hours spend on estate matters, plus a reimbursement of any necessary costs paid by the executor.
The above response is commentary regarding a general legal question. It is not intended to be legal advice specific to the reader's individual situation nor does it create an attorney-client relationship between the author and any reader. You are encouraged to contact a qualified and knowledgeable attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
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Real Estate Attorney
I agree with Mr. Elder and Mr. Smith, with one additional factor. If the executor is granted nonintervention powers, the executor will determine the fee initially. That fee will then be stated in the Declaration of Completion. Any heir or other interested party can then request the court to determine the propriety of the fee. If there is no such request within 30 days of filing, the fee stated in the Declaration will be final. In order to be sure that you get notice of filing of the Declaration of Completion, you should file a Request for Special Notice in the probate proceeding.
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