Law Offices of Craig Willford
Tasks that can earn a discretionary Extraordinary Fee in Decedent's Estates
Data as of August 24, 2011
Statutory fees are intended by the Probate Code to cover the typical "statutory" tasks expected to be performed therefor.
Tasks that are outside such statutory fee tasks can be compensated, founded upon a Petition, hearing and Court discretion, with Extraordinary Fees.
The statutory fees are to pay for the standard "statutory fee" tasks that substantially all probate estates need doing.
The typical extraordinary tasks that are beyond those standard tasks are listed below, taken from the California Rules of Court, Rule 7.703:
- The following is a nonexclusive list of activities for which extraordinary compensation may be awarded to the personal representative:
- Selling, leasing, exchanging, financing, or foreclosing real or personal property;
- Carrying on decedent's business if necessary to preserve the estate or under court order;
- Preparing tax returns; and
- Handling audits or litigation connected with tax liabilities of the decedent or of the estate.
- The following is a nonexclusive list of activities for which extraordinary compensation may be awarded to the attorney for the personal representative:
- Legal services in connection with the sale of property held in the estate;
- Services to secure a loan to pay estate debts;
- Litigation undertaken to benefit the estate or to protect its interests;
- Defense of the personal representative's account;
- Defense of a will contested after its admission to probate;
- Successful defense of a will contested before its admission to probate;
- Successful defense of a personal representative in a removal proceeding;
- Extraordinary efforts to locate estate assets;
- Litigation in support of attorney's request for extraordinary compensation, where prior compensation awards are not adequate compensation under all the circumstances;
- Coordination of ancillary administration; and
- Accounting for a deceased, incapacitated, or absconded personal representative under Probate Code section 10953.
Just as the Personal Representative can waive the statutory commission, so too can he/she waive Extraordinary Fees.
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