Reasonable trustee fees for a California living trust

Have you been named trustee of a living trust, or executor of an estate?  If so you may be paid a “reasonable” fee for your services. So now you’re wondering what a reasonable fee is.

The answer depends.  If the trust agreement has you administering the trust (as trustee) very quickly, as a short term duty (such as distributing all assets outright to the beneficiaries) then you can look to the probate code to see what an attorney or executor can charge for probate.  Now, probate is different then administering a trust, however it does provide us with a good starting point.  You can read more about fees for a California probate here.

Now, if the trust agreement has in its provisions a long term administering of the trust, where you will be acting as trustee for many years to come, you may look into what normal fees would be for managing a trust.  Many banks, trust companies and investment advisers perform these duties as institutions, and many of them print these amounts on their website.  From my experience the trustee fees I see charged from financial institutions range from a little below 1% up to 2% or higher, depending on how large the estate, the services offered, and the money management (if any).