Trustee’s Fees

What can a Trustee get for fees for administering the Trust?

 

When the governing instrument specifies the trustee’s compensation, the governing instrument prevails, although the court may allow greater or lesser compensation in some circumstances. Prob C §15680. Unless otherwise specified, trustee fees in the governing instrument typically cover ordinary services.

Compensation for extraordinary services, therefore, is usually in addition to that specified in the governing instrument and must be specifically requested.

When the governing instrument is silent, Prob C §15681 provides that the trustee is to be paid an amount that is reasonable under the circumstances.

For unsupervised trusts that do not specify the trustee’s compensation (i.e., do not specify “ordinary” compensation), the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary trustee fees does not have any particular legal significance because all compensation for such trusts must be reasonable under the circumstances, regardless of whether the services performed were ordinary or extraordinary.

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