As an Idaho executor fees lawyer can tell you, the role of personal representative or executor can be a significant one. It also generates a great deal of misinformation and misunderstanding about when an executor is entitled to reasonable fees and what that looks like.
An executor is a person appointed either through a will or through the courts when no will exists for the purposes of carrying out probate. This refers to estate administration and the executor has to handle details from gathering all of the different assets inside the estate to notifying creditors about the deceased’s death to distributing assets to creditors and debtors before beneficiaries.
An executor may take anywhere from a few months to over a year to complete this process and is entitled to fees for the work they put in time. Even though the average probate in Idaho might take around one year to complete, this can be extended much further if there are difficult circumstances or disputes that emerge throughout the estate administration process.
Executor fees do need to be paid when someone has put this work in and taken care of all the details.
Understanding Executor Fees
Idaho uses a commonly accepted principle that appears in many other statutes across the country known as reasonable compensation. This can be interpreted in a variety of different ways but courts have generally held that multiple factors can eb considered in determining whether or not something is reasonable. This includes things like time limitations, the size of the estate, compensation that is usually charged in these circumstances, the nature of the work involved and the capabilities and experience of the person.
One of the most common approaches in Idaho, as an Idaho executor fees attorney can tell you, is the services rendered approach. Sometimes an executor might recognize that they need additional support in managing the estate administration and will reach out to an executor fees attorney in Idaho for further clarification both about their roles and the way to handle proper payment. In the services rendered approach, most executors will bill hourly. The hourly rate can be determined by some of the factors named above. In some cases executors can also set fees based on a percentage of the overall value of the estate.
Regardless of which approach you take, you’ll need to keep detailed records about the tasks that you completed, the results obtained, such as selling a vehicle, the hourly rate for the task and the nature of the task. This is in the event that anyone challenges the hours you have spent working on this estate.
In some cases, a will might specify the compensation for an executor but the executor also has the opportunity to renounce this naming before being assigned and could be entitled to reasonable compensation instead, per Idaho Statutes 15-3-719.
Since there is so much involved in moving an estate through the process of probate, it is often necessary for an executor to reach out to a knowledgeable executor fees lawyer in Idaho to get a better understanding of what they need to do, the details they need to track, record and publish, and how to pivot around common problems and challenges.
In all of these circumstances it can be beneficial for you to schedule a consultation with a trusted estate planning or probate planning attorney as soon as possible. You need to know what you’re looking like and how to proceed with this kind of case. The support of a lawyer is required as soon as possible so that you know what to do next in these kinds of circumstances.