Figuring Out How Much The Executor Gets
Being the executor of an estate is something that can take a lot of time in cases where an estate is complex. In Westchester County, like the rest of New York, executors are entitled to collect a fee for carrying out their duties. As in many areas of New York estate law, figuring out what the amount of an executor’s fee should be is complicated and not as simple as figuring out a flat amount or a flat percentage. The amount that can be collected as a fee varies on the amount that the estate is worth. Being an executor is a serious matter, meaning that it is a good idea to make sure you have a great Westchester estate attorney on your side to make sure that you perform your duties correctly.
The amount of an executor’s fee depends entirely on the amount of the estate, rather than how many hours an executor puts in to handling that estate. That means that an executor that handles a $500,000 estate that has to put in many hours because it is the subject of a lawsuit, would collect the same as an executor for a $500,000 estate that did not have to put in that same amount of hours.
The amount that an executor gets is a percentage of the estate, but the amount of that percentage changes depending on how much is in the estate, which is why calculating the executor’s fees can be complicated. The percentage that the executor can collect would be of the probate estate, meaning that assets that are passed outside of the estate, such as life insurance policy or jointly held property, would not be used to calculate the percentage. Also not included in the percentage would be gifts that are specifically left to someone in the will, i.e. “to my niece I leave $1,000,000”. The percentage the executor gets would be determined on amount that is remaining after these specific bequests are taken out.
There is a schedule that sets forth what percentage someone will get as an executor. For the first $100,000 of the estate, the executor would be entitled to 5%. For additional amounts up to $200,000, the executor would collect 4%. Additional amounts up to $700,000, the executor would collect 3%. Additional amounts up to $4,000,000 would be collected at 2.5%. Finally additional amounts of $5,000,000 or more would be collected at 2%. Also to be kept in mind is that all executor’s commissions are considered taxable income.
Where this would get extremely complicated would be for moderate to very large estates, which is just one of the reasons why an executor handling such an estate should obtain the services of a Westchester estate attorney. For example, for a $3,000,000 estate, the executor’s fee would be collected as follows:
5% of $100,000 = $5,000
4% of $200,000 = $8,000
3% of $700,000 = $21,000
2.5% of $2,000,000 = $50,000
Total = $84,000
It is recommended that an executor fee calculation is performed by attorneys only. If you need a Westchester County estate attorney, Call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (914) 293-2043.