What does the executor of a Will get paid?
21 January 2021
There's a lot of work involved in being an Executor. While an Executor may feel that they deserve payment for carrying out this role, they are not automatically entitled to get paid for their services or for the time they have spent administering the Estate.
Check what the Will says
There might be a specific gift in the Will, a lump sum payment or a share of the Estate for the Executor, on the understanding that they carry out this role. However, if there isn't then the Executor can't invoice the Estate for the time they've spent dealing with the administration.
Paying out of pocket expenses
That said, the Executor should not be expected to be out of pocket for their services. They are entitled to claim back any expenses from the Estate. This might include Probate Court fees, Inheritance Tax, etc. For this reason, it’s a good idea for the Executor to provide the Beneficiaries with receipts and invoices for these payments.
Do professional executors get paid?
If the deceased person appointed a professional Executor in their Will, it’s common for the professional to charge a fee for this service. The professional Executor will want to ensure that the Will contains a specific fee clause, which will entitle them to charge for their services.
If the family or Beneficiaries of the deceased are not happy with the fees chargeable they do have the right to request that the named Executor renounces their role as Executor. This would mean that the professional Executor steps down from their duties.
Depending on the terms of the Will, there may be a co-Executor or a substitute Executor who can then take up the responsibility. It’s important to note, however, that the fee clause will only relate to the professional Executor, so the co-Executor or substitute Executor who then becomes responsible for dealing with the Estate will not receive this payment.
Get help from a Probate Solicitor
The role of the Executor is a challenging and time consuming one. There is a lot of legal, administrative and tax work involved in the administration of an Estate and there are a number of rules and responsibilities that a non-professional Executor may not be aware of. Without the support of a professional or experienced Probate practitioner, some Executors could find themselves in difficulty.
If you are the Executor of an Estate and you decide to complete Probate yourself, it’s a good idea to at the very least obtain some independent legal advice. This can help you to ensure that you are acting in accordance with the law and carrying out your duties in the best interests of the Estate.
A non-professional Executor does have the right to appoint Probate Solicitors to act on their behalf, meaning that the Probate Solicitors take full responsibility for administering the Estate.
With our Probate Complete Service we take full responsibility for obtaining Grant of Probate and dealing with the Legal, Tax (not VAT), Property and Estate Administration affairs*.
Our Probate fees would be dealt with as an administration expense and would be deductible from the Estate, so the Executor would not need to cover this cost out of their own pocket.
It would be a good idea to agree with the Beneficiaries of the Estate before instructing a Probate Solicitor, as this can affect how much they will inherit from the Estate. However, the Executor does have the right to make this decision themself.
It's also worth noting that a professional Probate Solicitor may be able to save the estate money. They will ensure that all hidden assets are located and all available tax exemptions are applied. Some of this could be missed when carrying out probate yourself and It's also worth noting that a professional Probate Solicitor may be able to save the estate money. They will ensure that all hidden assets are located and all available tax exemptions are applied. Some of this could be missed when carrying out probate yourself and ultimately the savings could outweight the costs.
It’s worth noting that there are a number of companies offering Probate services who are not regulated. Co-op Legal Services is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. This means that the service provided is a professional legal service and, as a client, you will be protected by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.