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Does an Executor Get Paid?

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There is no requirement to pay an Executor a commission for acting in that role.  In a lot of cases, you may find that the person appointed as the Executor of an Estate is also a beneficiary of the Estate, and that they do not have the professional skills required for the tasks involved in administering an Estate.

For some people, managing a deceased Estate may add stress to their already busy lives, because of the time required to attend to their duties in administering the Estate.  The time and effort involved will only increase if the Estate is contested and the Executor has to engage a lawyer  in defending a family provision claim.

There is a lot of responsibility involved in administering an Estate, so what are your entitlements as an Executor?

Legal fees and professional fees

It’s okay to ask for help!  Provided they are reasonable, legal fees and other professional fees such as accounting fees and real estate agent fees incurred during the course of and for the purpose of administering an estate are payable by the Estate.

Do I get paid for my time and effort?

As an Executor, you are only entitled to be remunerated from the Estate for your time and effort required in administering the Estate if:

  1. the Will authorises such a payment to be made;
  2. the beneficiaries, generally the residuary beneficiaries, authorise payment to be made to the Executor; or
  3. the Executor makes an application to the Supreme Court of Western Australia under section 98 of the Trustees Act 1962 (WA) to obtain an Order entitling them to be paid an Executor’s commission.

What will the Court consider?

When making a claim to be paid an Executor’s commission, the Court may consider any or all of the following factors:

  • the size of the Estate;
  • how the Executor conducted themselves when administering the Estate;
  • the work that has been completed and the work that is yet to be completed;
  • the amount of time and complexity of the work involved in administering the Estate;
  • if the Executor has had to be involved in any litigation relating to the Estate;
  • whether the Executor is a beneficiary of the Will and the value of their entitlement under the Will;
  • how paying the Executor commission would affect the entitlement of the other beneficiaries.

If you believe that your role as Executor is going to be less than straight forward, that is, time consuming and complex, you may benefit from initial advice from one of our lawyers who specialise in this area.  You may only require one or two appointments to have important questions answered to ensure you’re managing the Estate with competency and clarity, providing peace of mind to all involved.

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Monday, 06 July 2020