Executor Compensation and Fees (WA)

If the will does not specify how executor compensation should be calculated, WA estates must follow state compensation rules (see WA calculator below).

In Washington, the estate executor is known as a "personal representative".

In determining executor fees, the state of Washington uses the commonly accepted principle of "reasonable" compensation, and says nothing further in the law. However, there are slightly more detailed rules for professional lawyers that provide a bit more insight into the meaning of "reasonable", including:

  • Nature of the work involved (time, effort, difficulty, skills required)
  • Compensation customarily charged (in the community for similar services)
  • Size of the estate (and the results obtained)
  • Any time limitations
  • Experience and capabilities of the person

It's common in Washington to use a "services-rendered" approach, and bill by the hour (the hourly rate can be determined according to the factors above). Executors have also traditionally set fees as a percentage of the overall estate value, but while this is common (and mandated by law) in many states, it is somewhat unusual in WA.

To make all this a little more concrete, a $600K estate which required 700 hours of work might generate $22K in executor fees (see calculator below)

Finally, note that even if a will specifies the compensation for the executor, the executor may renounce the relevant provision before being assigned executor, and be entitled to reasonable compensation as per above.

See Revised Code of Washington § 11.48.210.

WA Compensation Calculator

EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for WA estates, but please keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for WA estates, and ultimately you must determine what would be reasonable for your particular circumstances. By using this estimator, you acknowledge that EstateExec provides any results as informational input only, not as legal advice, and cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies for, or misunderstandings about, any given estate.

Below EstateExec provides two compensation approaches used in various incarnations throughout the United States: you can decide which, if either, is appropriate for you. The first uses a sliding percentage scale based on the total estate gross value (the larger the estate, the smaller the percentage); the second simply compensates the executor for the value of his or her time, and is the more common approach in WA. See estimation methodology for details.

You can use this calculator now, but if you use EstateExec to help you track the settlement process, it will automatically calculate the inputs for you based on the estate and suggest those values in the fields below (you can create an estate for free).

An estimate using Estate Value

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Compensation:  $ -

An estimate using Executor Hours

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Compensation:  $ -
Average of both approaches:  $ -

See also Compensation for general remarks on executor compensation.

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