When a person dies, it can be a complex process to sort out their estate and ensure that their wishes are followed. An executor helps with this, but it is important to know about any related costs. Here is everything you need to know about executor fees.

What Is An Executor?

An executor is someone who is named in a will as taking responsibility for carrying out the instructions left in the will regarding their estate.

Anyone over the age of 18 can be an executor, and most people choose a close family member (such as a spouse or child). The role can be very demanding, given the complex financial transactions involved, so it is common to select more than one executor – with one being a solicitor or another professional with specialist knowledge. 

It is possible for an executor to refuse the role – in this case, a court can appoint an administrator in their place.

What Are Executor Fees?

Executor fees will depend on who carries out the role. It can be broken down as follows:

  1. Non-Professionals

If a non-professional (such as a family member or a friend) is chosen as an executor, they are not entitled to payment. However, they may be named as a beneficiary in the estate. The person who made the will could choose to leave a sum of money to compensate them for their time, but this is not required.

  1. Professionals

Professionals are people who are named as executors in a professional capacity. This could be a solicitor, bank or other institution. Because they provide a higher level of knowledge, expertise and protection, they are entitled to charge a fee.

The fee is charged for the work that they do administering the estate, and can be fixed-fee, hourly or a percentage of the estate value, and this is paid from the estate.

Executor Expenses

Although a non-professional executor can’t charge for their time, they can claim executor’s expenses for any costs incurred when they are administering the estate. These are things such as the grant of probate application fee, funeral costs, utility bills for the deceased’s home, etc. These expenses must be reasonable, and beneficiaries are entitled to raise any concerns about expenses claimed. The expenses are paid from the estate.

Finding A Professional Executor

Many people choose to name a professional executor alongside a family member in their will. Despite the executor fees, this is often a decision which helps to alleviate a lot of the stress from a family member at a particularly difficult time. For many people who have not been an executor before, having a professional to guide them and lead the administration of the estate helps greatly.

It is often a good idea to choose a trusted, local solicitor as a professional executor. Ensure that their fees are clear. Here at Beeston Shenton, based in Staffordshire, we pride ourselves on our professionalism and trustworthiness. You can contact us here