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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33719
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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WHAT IS REASONABLE COMPENSATION IN CALIFORNIA PROBATE

Customer Question

WHAT IS REASONABLE COMPENSATION FOR TRUSTEE IN CALIFORNIA PROBATE
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

Probate Code Sections 15680-82 spells out compensation of a trustee:

15680.

(a) Subject to subdivision (b), if the trust instrument provides for the trustee's compensation, the trustee is entitled to be compensated in accordance with the trust instrument.

(b) Upon proper showing, the court may fix or allow greater or lesser compensation than could be allowed under the terms of the trust in any of the following circumstances:

(1) Where the duties of the trustee are substantially different from those contemplated when the trust was created.

(2) Where the compensation in accordance with the terms of the trust would be inequitable or unreasonably low or high.

(3) In extraordinary circumstances calling for equitable relief.

(c) An order fixing or allowing greater or lesser compensation under subdivision (b) applies only prospectively to actions taken in administration of the trust after the order is made.

15681. If the trust instrument does not specify the trustee's compensation, the trustee is entitled to reasonable compensation under the circumstances.

1-3% would most likely be considered a reasonable fee depending on all the factors discussed above.

A trustee, if a trustee has continuing duties after the probate is complete, is still entitled to fees as set forth above.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
THAT'S A PRETTY WIDE RANGE. MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO DECIDE.
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

The point is that it will fluctuate depending on the duties involved. But the ultimate outcome will depend on whether a beneficiary of the trust objects to the amount a trustee is claiming as compensation. If they do, then the beneficiary will have to defend their compensation to a judge.

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So a trustee can claim an amount as compensation and then see if a beneficiary decides that they want to formally object to the probate court judge and force the trustee to defend their compensation.

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thanks

Barrister

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