The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois. While actual calculations are more complex, examples include 5% of amounts received or paid out in cash for Texas estates, or 4% of gross value for CA estates worth <$100K. Small estates can present very complex and unusual circumstances that require a great deal of effort and time. The reasonableness of the hourly rate will depend upon the relevant factors, including the education, experience, skill and expertise of the executor or administrator, the complexity of the issues that were handled and other factors. When you die, an executor must collect your remaining assets, pay your creditors, and distribute your property according to a will -- or if you do not leave a will, according to state law. An executor, administrator and trustee must always consider the best interests of the trust or estate before his or her interests. An executor has the right to request a fee of their choosing and must submit that amount to the probate court for approval. EXECUTOR’S FEES – THE TAXMAN ALWAYS WINS. The information on this website is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Executor fees can vary significantly, and are dependent on both state law and the decisions of the probate court. In other words, the executor’s “income commission” is $360 ($6,000 * 6% = $360). This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. An executor’s job is defined by New Jersey statutes. We do not do everything, but we have a large network of trusted professionals who we work with. “People write their wills, then live for another 10 to 15 years. This isn’t all legal fees, most representatives (administrator or executor) are entitled to an hourly fee, and there are also court costs, publishing fees and fees to other professionals (notably accountants). The probate court has the ultimate say in whether a fee is reasonable. This includes both an executornamed under the terms of a Will and an administrator in the case of a decedent who dies intestate. Executor fees are normally tied to the amount and type of work that the executor has to do. A judge might be inclined to deny reimbursement for these travel expenses if the executor inexplicably drove to another county to complete a task when a phone call would have produced the same result. See Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 755 §5-27-1 for rules concerning executors, and IL Rule 1.5 (a) for the potentially relevant guidance concerning lawyers acting as executors. Our full article on the cost of probate in Illinois can be found here. Basic Requirements for Serving as an Illinois Executor. Illinois law provides for "reasonable" compensation for the work your executor must perform in administering your estate. The question posed to the Committee was whether it is ethically permissible for a lawyer for a representative of a decedent’s estate to enter into a fee agreement, or to collect a fee, for an amount in excess of the amount of fees allowed by a Probate Court as reasonable. The Probate Act does not require an attorney fee for an estate representative to be paid exclusively from estate assets. Illinois laws establish the rights and duties of an executor of a will in the state. For various legal resources, visit the Drendel & Jansons Resource Page. § 5/6-13.) You establish your fee in one of two ways: The decedent’s will specifies the amount, or state statute fixes the amount based on a fee schedule. This would mean you managed an estate and did not distribute it immediately. For some, it is a sliding scale, taking into account complexities and unique circumstances. In Illinois, we don’t have the luxury of using a percentage as a guideline. Dec 9, 2016. He has experience writing about environmental topics, music and health, as well as legal issues. Some wills name a trust company as executor. Some states, like California and New York, have fee schedules written into state probate code that dictate what percentage of the estate’s assets to pay an executor. How to Handle Gifts or Loans to Children in a Will or Trust, The Difference Between Irrevocable Trusts and Revocable Trusts, The Dangerous Rocks under the Waters of Joint Bank Accounts, Answers to Common Estate Planning Questions. Administrators and executors do essentially the same job and have several duties as part of the probate process. The executor is entitled to 6% of the $6,000 of income. Probate is the process of handling the estate of someone who has died. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Your executor must be: at least 18 years old; a U.S. resident, and; of sound mind -- that is, not judged incapacitated by a court. 1 Answer from Attorneys. from Penn State University and has been practicing law since 2008. An executor has the right to request a fee of their choosing and must submit that amount to the probate court for approval. Recent Changes to Probate in Illinois This includes paying all of the debts and final bills, satisfying any lingering obligations, and identifying the property and other assets of the decedent so that the net assets can be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. 416-369-7809. The Illinois Probate Act is very vague. I am aware of at least one court case in which a $50 an hour fee was approved by the court. You may also claim a management fee. 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