See the chart below for some instant guidance on how much you can be paid as an executor.
If you're not an executor yourself but are wondering what's fair and permitted the chart below can also help.
However, Pennsylvania executors fees are a matter within the discretion of the Orphan's Court judge. In some states, executors' fees are set by statute.
However, in Pennsylvania the fees of an executor are subject to review by the court and must be reasonable.
Factors such as the size and complexity of the estate as well as the number of beneficiaries and who else the executor hires and pays may also be considered.
Some wills also specify fees, or who else can or should be hired and paid with or without reducing the executors fees.
To get a better idea see the chart below.
Johnson Estate, 4 Fid.Rep.2d 6, 8 (1983)
|Per Col.||Per Total|
|Executor or||$||200,000.01||to $||1,000,000.00||3%||24,000.00||33,000.00|
|1%||Joint Accounts||1%||P.O.D. Bonds||1%||Trust Funds|
|3%||Real Estate Converted
with Aid of Broker
|½%||Regular Commission P.O.D. Bonds and Trust Funds||3½%||Transfer Joint Accounts||3½%||Assets Which Are Taxable at One Half Value|
|1%||Non-Probate Assets up to $1,000,000||1%||Non-Probate Assets||Joint Accounts Fully Taxable:
What about the related idea of attorneys' fees?
The practice of my firm, (Unruh, Turner, Burke and Frees) unlike many others, is to review each estate and the particular tasks to be performed and which tasks will be performed by the executor, accountants and others, and to set a flat fee at the outset of the representation.
However, many firms charge on an hourly basis, or according to the fee guidelines as established by the court in The Johnson Estate case above.
If you're an executor always ask in advance about how the estate fees will be charged.
Remember, the best time to review fees with the lawyer to avoid problems and disputes is before you hire them.
And, contrary to common belief, you're not obligated to hire the lawyer or the firm that drafted the will.
You have the power as executor to choose your own counsel.
As counsel, the lawyers' job is to protect you and to make sure that you observe the many laws relating to the job of executor.
You're personally liable as executor, so get good advice and resolve the fee issue in advance.
David M. Frees III Pennsylvania Probate and Will Attorney