If you have recently been appointed as an executor of an estate in Georgia, you should have the guidance of an experienced Georgia executor fees lawyer to advise you about your rights and to be clear that you understand the different steps involved in serving as an executor. The provision regarding the general powers of an executor in Georgia are found in GA Code § 53-7-2.
An executor plays a crucial role in managing the estate administration of a decedent. This means that this person must be extremely organized and be aware of all of the different tasks associated with closing out an estate. From filing the necessary paperwork with the right Georgia probate court. to inventorying all of the assets, notifying creditors, distributing those assets to creditors and payment of taxes and distributing any remaining assets to beneficiaries, this can be overwhelming for someone who is new to the probate process and does not realize all of the different tasks that are entailed.
It is common for a person who has recently been appointed as a Georgia executor to be curious about whether or not they get paid. As a Georgia executor fees lawyer can tell you, executors or estate administrators are entitled to reasonable compensation for their services. GA Code § 53-6-60. This is because this can be a significant investment of their time and ability. An executor in Georgia, however, is eligible to serve with or without compensation based on the directions named in the will.
If nothing is specifically stated within the will about the executor compensation then default Georgia probate law rules apply to enable them to get paid.
Basics About Payment in a Will
In the event that the will mentions executor compensation, it can identify a formula, a certain amount of compensation or some other method of arriving at a compensation for the executor. If a specific method is named then the executor can be paid as the will directs and usually cannot access any additional compensation as a result of Georgia probate law. Furthermore the will can say that the executor serve without being paid.
The will can also be silent regarding these important issues regarding executor fees. As a Georgia executor fees attorney can tell you, there is a certain structure outlined to enable an executor to receive compensation. For example, an executor is eligible to receive 2.5% of all the money brought into the estate and 2.5% of all of the money that is distributed or paid out of the estate. This amount, however, excludes a couple of key assets that could dramatically alter the total payment for an executor. For example, this doesn’t incorporate the value of real estate unless it has been sold by the executor or stocks and bonds unless sold by the executor.
Beyond this amount the executor can be entitled to receive 10% of any interest that is earned by the estate. By pursuing a petition through the right Georgia probate court, an executor may in certain circumstances be eligible to get additional compensation on non-monetary property like stocks, bonds and real estate that is distributed to the beneficiaries when that property has not been sold. This can eb a very challenging task to calculate the right amount of executor compensation. This is especially true when beneficiaries of the estate have concerns about whether or not an executor has acted in the best interests of the estate. There are several different situations in which an executor can breach their fiduciary duty or could lose their right to compensation, such as when the executor has crossed the line and been involved in self-dealing or other bad acts.
Because these kinds of calculations can be complex and because you may have questions about the process, it’s a good idea to have the support of an experienced executor fees lawyer in Georgia to guide you through when you or your loved ones are concerned about whether or not appropriate process has been followed. There are many different things to think about as you approach executor fees and since this will both affect the executor who has been appointed to the role as well as beneficiaries of the estate, you should all be clear about the expectations and be prepared to proceed accordingly.