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Reviewing executor compensation in California

The task of being the executor of an estate in Woodland Hills can be a daunting one. According to the American Bar Association, the duties of an executor include handling unpaid debts and expenses, overseeing the proper administration of trusts and gift disbursements, as well as paying taxes. Once that is done, there still is the matter of officially closing the estate with the court. While any expenses incurred from performing one duties as executor are paid from the estate's assets, fulfilling the role of executor can also require a great deal of one's time and energy. Fortunately, the law does allow an executor to be compensated for his or her services.

The executor compensation structure is detailed in section 10800 of the California Probate Code. It states that the amount an executor is entitled to depends upon the total value of the estate that he or she is overseeing. When valuating an estate, the court takes account the following items:

  •          The appraisal value of all of the properties included in the estate's inventory.
  •          Any receipts of assets to the estate.
  •          The funds gained or lost depending upon the sale price of estate properties compared to their appraised value.

Executor compensation begins a 4 percent of the estate’s value for the first $100,000, with that number decreasing to 3 percent for the second $100,000. The compensation percentage decreases by another 1 percent for the next $800,000, and to 1 percent overall on the next $9 million. It then goes to 0.5 percent for the following $15 million. For estate’s valued above $25 million, the court will determine the executor’s compensation.

If the decedent included a provision in the will outlining the executor’s compensation, then the amount he or she can receive defaults to that. 

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