Executors of wills, especially if an heir, often take no fees; though some charge by the hour. Learn about executor fees from an estate planning and probate lawyer in this free video on estate law.
What are executor fees? Fees for being an executor can go all the way across the board from none to quite a bit, depending on who the executor is. Sometimes it's not unusual in family situations for the person who is selected as executor not to take a fee. Certainly in most cases a surviving spouse who is the heir of the estate is not going to charge himself or herself an executor's fee, because if they took an executor's fee, the executor's fee is income and then subject to income tax. So probably wouldn't do it in that situation. Lots and lots of times the executor takes absolutely no fee. Sometimes executors takes a fee based on the number of hours the executor works. We would suggest from the get go that the executor keep track of their time, both their kind of running around time, and the more professional time. The professional time would be meetings with an attorney, meetings with the CPA, meetings with the financial adviser, actually writing bills, making decisions. None professional time, running around that would be going to the bank to get a piece of paper, checking the mail, going by the house to make sure it's secured. Things that anybody could do not the executor. You can also get paid a percentage. Percentages are going to vary depending on again who the executor is. If it's a trust company, trust companies are going to charge a percentage of the estate. Typically it's going to be laddered down. We're going to charge the highest percent on the first million or two million, step it down for the second million or two million, step it down further. Some have a minimum fee, most of the minimum fee that you must pay them to act.