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Payment of Attorney’s Fees in Probate

Personal Representative Compensation

If you make provisions in your will for compensation of your personal representative, then the court will take that as their full compensation for the job.

Unless your personal representative files with the court a written instrument essentially denying their compensation provided for in the will. Denial of the compensation claim needs to made before they qualify as personal representative. Your personal representative may want to deny the compensation provided for in the will and have the court set an amount that is just and reasonable. Without a compensation provision in your will, the court will likely do the same and allow compensation as the court shall deem just and reasonable.

It is worth noting that If the court finds that your personal representative has failed to discharge their duties appropriately, it may deny him or her any compensation whatsoever or may reduce the compensation which would otherwise be allowed. RCW 11.48.210.

Attorney's fees

An attorney performing services for your estate is likely going to be compensated out of the estate as the court deems just and reasonable. Such compensation may be allowed at the final accounting. However, at any time during administration, a personal representative or his or her attorney may apply to the court for compensation of the personal representative and attorney's fees.

Allowance of necessary expenses.

He or she shall be allowed all necessary expenses in the care, management, and settlement of the estate. RCW 11.48.050.


If your probate is revoked or the will annulled because of a will contests, then a court may assess costs in it's discretion.

If the will is sustained or a will contests is dismissed, then the court may assess the costs against the contestant, including, such reasonable attorney's fees as the court may deem proper. Unless it appears that the contestant acted with probable cause and in good faith. RCW 11.24.050.

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