Does an executor or administrator receive compensation?

Under California law, an executor or administrator of the estate can receive compensation for working on the estate. The California Probate Code permits an executor to be paid a specific percentage of the total assets of the estate. The percentage to which an executor is entitled is dependent on the entire amount of assets in the estate.

The value of the estate is determined by the inventory performed by the executor as part of his or her responsibilities. Because debts are excluded from the value of the estate, if a house is valued at $700,000, but has a mortgage of $350,000, the house still has a value of $700,000, which is used to calculate the executor’s compensation.

If an estate is valued at under $100,000, the executor may be paid an amount that is four percent of the value. If the estate is determined to be worth an amount in excess of $100,000, but less than $25 million, the executor may claim a specific percentage on the basis of the value of the estate. If the estate is valued at an amount greater than $25 million, the California Probate Code does not establish a percentage for the executor to receive. Instead, the court sets a reasonable fee for the executor.

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