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  1. #1
    Susann is offline Junior Member
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    How much should I pay executor/trustee of my estate?

    What is the name of your state? California

    I am a 55 yr old widow, a teacher, and have a 17 yr old daughter. I want to have my will drawn up asap and make sure that my daughter is taken care of when I pass away. I have a very dear friend who is a paralegal but also completed law school. However, she has not yet passed the bar but is quite capable of drawing up this document for me. I also want her to be the executor/trustee (not sure the correct term) of my estate, which would involve all the usual paying off my debts as well as being in control of the monies to go to my daughter. My retirement monies (STRS) will go to my daughter (she's the beneficiary). I also own a home and have other assets but nothing "liquid". The details of all of this will be worked out as it is written. My only question is this: how much should I include in will to pay my friend for taking on this responsibility? If you appoint a family member to be the executor, I dont think one normally pays them for this "job", I'm not sure. But in my case, this is a friend and a professional and I am asking her to undertake a big responsibility. I have no idea how much I should include in my will to go to her for this. I am not financially that well off,ie not much of my estate would be "liquid", but I do own my home and then my STRS and a modest (so far) tax shelter. What would one pay a lawyer to have this responsibility? thank you.
  2. #2
    tecate is offline Member
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    Why not a living trust?
  3. #3
    newyorkprobate is offline Junior Member
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    Payment of an executor

    Lawyers may take up to 25% of an estate for their services, unless you negotiate a flat fee prior to death. Executors, if also a beneficiary may waive their fees, but are entitled to a percentage of the estate, usually approved by a judge. In New York 3 to 5% is standard.
  4. #4
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by newyorkprobate View Post
    Lawyers may take up to 25% of an estate for their services, unless you negotiate a flat fee prior to death.
    For a court to approve estate attorney compensation that is 25% of the estate value, the circumstances would have to be very out of the ordinary. In California, unless the court approves additional compensation for what it considers extraordinary services, statutory compensation for the estate attorney is set at:

    (1) Four percent on the first one hundred thousand dollars
    ($100,000).
    (2) Three percent on the next one hundred thousand dollars
    ($100,000).
    (3) Two percent on the next eight hundred thousand dollars
    ($800,000).
    (4) One percent on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000).
    (5) One-half of 1 percent on the next fifteen million dollars
    ($15,000,000).
    (6) For all amounts above twenty-five million dollars
    ($25,000,000), a reasonable amount to be determined by the court.

    Executors, if also a beneficiary may waive their fees, but are entitled to a percentage of the estate, usually approved by a judge. In New York 3 to 5% is standard
    Any executor/personal representative, whether a beneficiary or not, can decline compensation for their services.
  5. #5
    tecate is offline Member
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    newyorkprobate and anteater point out one of the many reasons why many in California with estates like yours set up living trusts to transmit property at death. The main advantage is that court involvement is discretionary, not mandatory, so in noncontested matters, the attorney and fiduciary fees are usually much lower.

    Why a will?
  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    49
    You can also just indicate that your executor would be paid "reasonable" fees for her services. Then she could charge the statutory amount allowed in your state - or if ran into significant problems for which she wanted / needed to charge more, she could petition the court for additional fees.

    Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Susann View Post
    What is the name of your state? California

    I am a 55 yr old widow, a teacher, and have a 17 yr old daughter. I want to have my will drawn up asap and make sure that my daughter is taken care of when I pass away. I have a very dear friend who is a paralegal but also completed law school. However, she has not yet passed the bar but is quite capable of drawing up this document for me. I also want her to be the executor/trustee (not sure the correct term) of my estate, which would involve all the usual paying off my debts as well as being in control of the monies to go to my daughter. My retirement monies (STRS) will go to my daughter (she's the beneficiary). I also own a home and have other assets but nothing "liquid". The details of all of this will be worked out as it is written. My only question is this: how much should I include in will to pay my friend for taking on this responsibility? If you appoint a family member to be the executor, I dont think one normally pays them for this "job", I'm not sure. But in my case, this is a friend and a professional and I am asking her to undertake a big responsibility. I have no idea how much I should include in my will to go to her for this. I am not financially that well off,ie not much of my estate would be "liquid", but I do own my home and then my STRS and a modest (so far) tax shelter. What would one pay a lawyer to have this responsibility? thank you.

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