Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

We are in the process of settling an estate in the state of California. I received a copy of the expenses from the attorney and the executor. I noticed that the executor charged the same amount in expenses as the attorney. When I asked the executor about this, they said they were allowed to claim the same amount in expenses as the attorney. I know they receive the same fee, based on the value of the estate, but the same amount in fees seems weird. The attorney will have a lot more fees than the executor. So is the executor allowed to received the same amount in EXPENSES, not their fee, as the attorney. Thanks.

Asked on 9/29/13, 9:00 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Victor Waid Law Office of Victor Waid
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Attorney and executor fees are set by probate code statute, and are the same for the executor or administrator as the attorney for allowed basic fees. Expenses of the estate are not fees, and are chargeable only to the estate. However the attorney may have earned extraordinary fees that are allowed by statute, but must prove them by declaration to the court at the same time he is making claim for compensation when he files a petition for approval of accounting and distribution of the estate. So any expenses the executor has accrued out of pocket for the benefit of the estate are recoverable from the estate in addition to his executor allowed fee.

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Answered on 9/29/13, 2:22 pm

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