Skip to Content
Klenk Law

Serving as a Trustee in New Jersey takes a lot of work. Depending on the type of trust (including special needs trusts or a minor’s trust) the role can become a full-time commitment. In fact, there are companies whose sole existence is to serve as trustees. Decisions must be made about all sorts of issues, including distributions to beneficiaries, selling or buying property, fees to charge, and advisors to hire.

We are often asked by our clients; what are the trustee fees in New Jersey? The trustee, the individual who establishes a trust, and the trust’s beneficiaries prefer to know exactly how much of the trust’s resources will be used for administration.

In the trust dynamic, the principal sets the terms. If the trust document has not yet been drafted, the grantor can expressly state the compensation a trustee will receive. If the trustee does not feel the compensation is worth their time and effort, it is their right to refuse to serve. The types of compensation specified can be an hourly rate, a flat rate per year, or a combination of both. Some trust documents may even stipulate that trustees serve with no fee. Most often, a trust will include a term specifying that a trustee shall receive ‘reasonable compensation’

Fee Schedule for Trustees in New Jersey

If however, the grantor has failed to specify the compensation, the New Jersey legislature has provided for a statutory fee schedule. However, this does not apply to corporate fiduciaries. A trustee’s fees are split into two amounts: an income commission and a corpus commission. In most cases—unlike an executor—a trustee takes an annual fee rather than a one-time lump sum.

Trustee Income Commission

Trustees are entitled to a 6% fee on all income received by the trust annually.

Trustee Corpus Commission

Trustees are entitled to an annual commission on the corpus of the trust. This includes money that qualified as income in previous years and has since been reinvested. The statutory fee for a trust corpus is .5% of the first $400,000 and .3% on the value of the corpus that exceeds $400,000.

So for example, the corpus commission with a value of $3.5 million would be:

$400,000 x .005 = $ 2,000
$3,100,000 x .003 = $ 9,300
Annual Corpus Commission = $ 11,300

Imagine a $10 million dollar corpus, invested with a 7% annual return. A trustee would be entitled to (assuming no distributions):

$400,000 x .005 = $ 2,000
$9,600,000 x .003 = $ 28,800 (Fee on Principal)
$10,000,000 x .07 x .06 = $ 42,000 (Fee on Income)
Annual Commission = $ 72,800

Percentage-Based Termination Fee for Trustees in New Jersey

In addition to income and corpus commissions, when the trust is terminated, the trustee is entitled to a percentage-based termination fee. This fee depends on the value of the trust and amount of time they served as trustee prior to termination. Finally, the above fees and percentages change based on the number of trustees serving. The above assumes that only one trustee is serving. If more than one trustee is serving, a small percentage is added to the overall commission, to be divided among the serving trustees.In our blog, we will provide examples from the case law of what happens when a Trustee charges a commission above these limits in New Jersey.

If you have questions about trustee fees in New Jersey or any other estate planning concerns contact our office for a free consultation.

What Our clients are saying

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Great friendly staff

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Surprisingly easy

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

Klenk Law Logo
Stars

Peter and his associates made things easy for us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.