Colorado Revised Statutes Title 15. Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries § 15-10-602. Recovery of reasonable compensation and costs

(1) A fiduciary and his or her lawyer are entitled to reasonable compensation for services rendered on behalf of an estate.

(2) A lawyer hired by a respondent, ward, or protected person is entitled to reasonable compensation and costs incurred for the legal representation the lawyer provides for the respondent, ward, or protected person.

(3) A third party who performs services at the request of a court is entitled to reasonable compensation.

(4) A person's entitlement to compensation or costs shall not limit or remove a court's inherent authority, discretion, and responsibility to determine the reasonableness of compensation and costs when appropriate.

(5) Except as limited or otherwise restricted by a court order, compensation and costs that may be recovered pursuant to this section may be paid directly or reimbursed without a court order.  After a fiduciary receives notice of proceedings for his, her, or its removal, the fiduciary shall not pay compensation or attorney fees and costs from the estate without an order of the court.  A court shall order a person who receives excessive compensation or payment for inappropriate costs to make appropriate refunds.

(6) Except as provided in sections 15-10-605(2) , (3) , and (4) ;  15-14-318(4);  and 15-14-431(5), if any fiduciary or person with priority for appointment as personal representative, conservator, guardian, agent, custodian, or trustee defends or prosecutes a proceeding in good faith, whether successful or not, the fiduciary or person is entitled to receive from the estate reimbursement for reasonable costs and disbursements, including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees.

(7)(a) Except as otherwise provided in part 5 of this article or in this part 6, a nonfiduciary or his or her lawyer is not entitled to receive compensation from an estate.

(b) If a lawyer or another person not appointed by the court provides services that result in an order beneficial to the estate, respondent, ward, or protected person, the lawyer or other person not appointed by the court may receive costs and reasonable compensation from the estate as provided below:

(I) The lawyer or other person shall file a request for compensation for services or costs alleged to have resulted in the order within thirty-five days after the entry of the order or within a greater or lesser time as the court may direct.  Any objection thereto must be filed within twenty-one days after the filing of the request for compensation or costs.  Any reply to the objection must be filed within seven days after the filing of the objection.

(II) After a request for compensation or costs or an objection to such a request, if any, has been filed, the court shall determine, without a hearing, the benefit, if any, that the estate received from the services provided.

(III) If the court determines that a compensable benefit resulted from the services, then the person requesting compensation or costs shall submit to the court only those fees or costs purportedly incurred in providing the beneficial services.  If no objection to those fees and costs is filed, the court shall determine the amount of compensation or costs to be awarded for the benefit, without a hearing.

(IV) An interested person disputing the reasonableness of the amount of compensation or costs requested for the beneficial services may file an objection.  If an objection is filed, the proceedings to resolve the dispute shall be governed by section 15-10-604 .

(c) In determining a reasonable amount of compensation or costs, the court may take into account, in addition to the factors set forth in section 15-10-603(3) :

(I) The value of a benefit to the estate, respondent, ward, or protected person;

(II) The number of parties involved in addressing the issue;

(III) The efforts made by the lawyer or person not appointed by the court to reduce and minimize issues;  and

(IV) Any actions by the lawyer or person not appointed by the court that unnecessarily expanded issues or delayed or hindered the efficient administration of the estate.

(d) For the purposes of this subsection (7), services rendered by a lawyer or a person not appointed by a court that confer a benefit to an estate, respondent, ward, or protected person are those significant, demonstrable, and generally noncumulative services that assist the court in resolving material issues in the administration of an estate.  By way of example and not limitation, such benefits may result in significantly increasing or preventing a significant decrease in the size of the estate, preventing or exposing maladministration or a material breach of fiduciary duty, or clarifying and upholding a decedent's, settlor’s, principal's, respondent's, ward's, or protected person's intent with respect to a material issue in dispute.

(8) A fiduciary who is a member of a law firm may use the services of the law firm and charge for the reasonable value of the services of the members and staff of the firm that assist the fiduciary in performing his or her duties.

(9) Every application or petition for appointment of a fiduciary filed under this code, including without limitation those required under sections 15-12-301 , 15-12-402 , 15-12-614 , 15-12-621 , 15-12-622 , 15-14-202 , 15-14-204 , 15-14-304 , and 15-14-403 , shall include a statement by the applicant or petitioner disclosing the basis upon which any compensation is to be charged to the estate by the fiduciary and his or her or its counsel or shall state that the basis has not yet been determined.  The disclosure statement shall specifically describe, as is applicable, the hourly rates to be charged, any amounts to be charged pursuant to a published fee schedule, including the rates and basis for charging fees for any extraordinary services, and any other bases upon which a fee charged to the estate will be calculated.  This disclosure obligation shall be continuing in nature so as to require supplemental disclosures if material changes to the basis for charging fees take place.

Cite this article: - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 15. Probate, Trusts, and Fiduciaries § 15-10-602. Recovery of reasonable compensation and costs - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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