After the death of a loved one, there is quite a bit of work to be done. Most of the financial work will be handled by the executor named by the deceased in their will or trust. These tasks can involve gathering and securing the deceased's assets and household belongings, paying debts and taxes, filing court paperwork, and more. As you can imagine, this can take a lot of time. As a result, one of the questions our Marietta probate attorneys are often asked is if an executor can be paid a fee for their work.
In most cases, the answer is yes. As an executor in Georgia, you are entitled to receive an executor fee for your services. In many cases, we advise our estate planning clients to either set a specified amount for the executor in their will or trust or explicitly prohibit executor fees if they wish. However, if the will is silent regarding executor fees or the deceased dies without a will, then the executor fees are determined by state laws.
In some states, executor fees are a fixed amount and equal to a percentage of the final estate amount. That is the case in Georgia, where if the will fails to mention the executor's commission, the statutory fee or commission is 2.5% of all money brought into the estate and 2.5% percent of all money paid or distributed out of an estate. In addition, by petitioning the proper probate court in Georgia, the administrator may be entitled to an added compensation of up to 3% of the value of non-money assets, such as real estate, stocks, and bonds, that are distributed to beneficiaries without being sold.
Lastly, it is important to remember that executor fees are considered income and are taxable.
Being an executor is an important job and can be time-consuming. Most of the time, guidance from a probate attorney is necessary. Contact us here or call us at 770-425-6060 to discuss your rights and obligations with one of our Marietta probate attorneys so that you can get through the process with as little stress as possible.