What would be a reasonable rate of compensation for serving as a Personal Representative of an estate?

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What would be a reasonable rate of compensation for serving as a Personal Representative of an estate?

I am the Personal Representative of my mother’s estate. Her will did not specify any monies to be set aside for payment of this position. I was her POA, then her Guardian, now the PR for the estate. I’ve handled all the business of disburing the monies from the investments, insurance policies, savings, and seeing to it the items designated to each heir was distributed, etc. I am now involved in the sale of the house which is the last item to distribute the monies from this sale. I have taken nothing from the estate in the way of any compensation for all that I’ve done. Would 3% be fair?

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

Kenneth Berger / Kenneth A. Berger, Attorney at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would be highly unusual in Washington for a PR to claim a percentage of the estate for payment of their PR services.  What I have seen approved here is typically the same hourly wage that the PR would have recieved at their normal job, assuming that their normal job carried the same or lesser responsibilities as that of a PR.  The PR will also need to submit a time and task list accounting for the work they have done.

As always, my comments are only applicable to Washington State and are not a substitute for getting competent, local, and more comprehensive, legal help.

 

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Washington’s executor fee is not a fixed percentage. Instead, the executor is entitled to a “reasonable” fee. In general, reasonableness for an executor fee is based on the same criteria as attorney fees, including time required, difficulty, requisite skill, amount customarily charged in that community, size of estate, experience, etc. See RCW 11.68.100(2) and Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5(a).  So you need to look at the total picture to know.  Good luck.


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