How is a professional executor paid for their services?

It is common practice for individuals to appoint their children or other dependants as executors of their estate. Overseeing the distribution of a deceased estate involves a significant amount of time and work on the part of the executor. The responsibilities of such a task can weigh heavily on someone who has no experience in these matters.

Where an estate is particularly complicated due to the structure and nature of assets, or as a result of a blended family situation, an individual may appoint a professional advisor such as a solicitor, accountant or financial planner to act as executor of their will. This legal personal representative can act as an impartial voice and remove the burden of this role from family.

Do you have to pay a professional who acts as executor?

In general, it is not a requirement to pay an executor. However, if a professional is undertaking this onerous task rather than a family member or friend, there is an expectation that the professional should be compensated for the time they spend administering the estate.

How is a professional executor paid?

Payment to a professional executor comes from the estate and can be arranged in the following ways:

  • A clause in the will provides instructions for the payment of a commission
  • Payment is negotiated between the executor and the residuary beneficiaries of the estate
  • An executor can apply to the court for an order regarding the payment of commission

A clause in the will that provides for payment of a commission is the simplest way for a professional executor to be paid, while applying for an order in court can be slow and costly.

How much is a professional executor paid?

The amount a professional executor is paid will depend upon the size and complexity of the estate. However, there is no fixed rate and an executor may be paid according to their professional hourly rate or according to another arrangement instead.

If a claim for payment is brought before the court, payment may be calculated as a lump sum or as a percentage rate. When deciding on an application for commission, the court will consider things like the size and complexity of the estate, the time and work involved, the ability of the executor to complete the tasks and any problems associated with administering the estate.

For assistance, with your will and estate or the estate of a deceased loved one, talk to the professional Estates team at Taylor & Scott Lawyers. With years of experience in these matters, they can offer advice and pragmatic solutions. Call today on 1800 600 644 or contact directly through the Taylor & Scott website.

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