Can the executor of a Will take a commission for the duties they are responsible to perform?

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Can the executor of a Will take a commission for the duties they are responsible to perform?

Asked on May 24, 2014 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Executors do indeed get paid for performing the duties required under the law unless they waive the fee. Here from the NYC Bar Association:

Do Executors Get Paid?

Executors get paid commissions which are calculated as a percentage of the value of the "probate estate," less any specific bequests, legacies or devises (i.e., items of real or personal property left by the testator to a specific individual). The probate estate is defined as all property held in the decedent's name. It does not include jointly held real property (such as a house which passes to a spouse), or any bank account or other property held jointly with another individual such as a spouse or child. Such amounts do not pass under the Will. Bank accounts which are held in trust for another individual, pension plans, life insurance, IRAs and any other accounts or policies which are paid directly to a beneficiary and not to the estate itself also do not pass under the Will.

The commission rate in New York for each Executor is 5% on the first $100,000 in the estate, 4% on the next $200,000, 3% on the next $700,000, 2-1/2 % on the next $4,000,000 and 2% on any amount above $5,000,000. Banks and Trust Companies may charge more for their services as Executors and Trustees, and particularly as money managers.


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