Portland, OR asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Washington

Q: My brother is personal representative of mom's estate. He is asking to get paid $80 dollars per hour.

To be paid for repairs and as executor. That seems over the top? This is in Clark County Washington. He over drew the estate account and reimbursed himself.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Keith Armstrong
Keith Armstrong
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Spanaway, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Your brother may be overstepping his bounds with an $80/hour rate for probate administration. The rate is not set by statute but RCW RCW 11.48.210 provides just and reasonable." If the estate probate is not complex or if your brother is not providing professional services such as legal, accounting, appraisal services, his rate may not be approved by the court. Many courts allow nonprofessional administrators $20-$35/hour, but all compensation would have to be approved by the court either during probate or at the end. So your brother may believe he is smart by setting an arbitrary rate, but the court will have the final say so on that expense. Also, if your brother has mismanaged the probate account he may have to account for that to the court. You may want to file a Special Notice under RCW 11.28.240 and request an accounting of probate finances under RCW 11.68.065. It would be good to find an experienced probate attorney in your county to help protect your rights in this probate because it does not seem the brother is looking out for all heirs equally, something required by his oath and the statutes.

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