Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Executor's Fee
Old 07-05-2018, 07:48 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 1,135
Executor's Fee

I've posted several times over the last year that I'm the executor of my DF's estate. The estate is worth in the neighborhood of $300k and as one of three children I will inherit 1/3 of that. As I believe is often customary, the will provides for an executor's fee - in this case, 5%.

I'm getting a vibe from my siblings that I shouldn't be so selfish and take the fee. Not in so many words, and we all get along well, but the message is clearly there. For example, DB has asked me numerous times if I "still" plan to take the fee.

When I spoke to the county about the estate account they also asked if I planned to take the fee. Of course, they don't have a dog in that hunt; they're just asking in the context of reminding me not to forget anything in the final accounting. But that tells me it might not be uncommon for a family member to forgo the executor's fee.

Am I an outlier in thinking that I am entitled to the fee and I should take it?

Legally I am, of course, but does that make me a jerk or something? The money won't make me or break me at this point but I've spent hundreds of hours doing everything from cleaning the house, negotiating the sale of the house, organizing repairs on the house, selling the car, selling a coin collection, minding various bills, bird-dogging payment of insurance benefits, nagging the assisted living facility for the refund due, checking for lost money, filling out paperwork related to his last pension payment, etc., etc., etc. Dang, I feel like I earned that money! I had to do most of this myself simply because I was the only one living nearby, so it's not like the others didn't want to help; they just couldn't.

I'm just wondering what most people do in this case, and I figure there must be others here who have gone through it.

Thanks, all!
__________________

__________________
If you push something hard enough, it will fall over ó Fudd's First Law of Opposition.
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-05-2018, 07:57 PM   #2
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 17,810
In my case (I was executor for my mother's estate) the will specifically said I would serve without compensation so I knew that going in. But you're right, it is a lot of work, and in my case a lot less work than yours because all of the assets were financial and relatively simple to handle. And I saw it as "The last thing I could do for Mom".

But you had to do a lot more work than I did. There wasn't even a car to sell, let alone any real estate.

I can't tell you what I'd do, but I can suggest that if the siblings show any resentment, take time to explain what work you did as explained in your post and hopefully they will understand if you do decide to take the fee. FWIW, I think you earned it. But I'm not your brother either.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 07:59 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
RobbieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Central CA
Posts: 3,191
Take the fee.

You've spent "100's of hours" which I call 200 as it's plural...

So 5% of 300,000 is $75/hr. You are probably out of pocket too.

Once you have the dough and have settled on "what you were due" you can split the remainder with the "disgruntled" and cheer them up.
__________________
Retired at 59 in 2014. Should have done it sooner but I worried too much.
RobbieB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:03 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
38Chevy454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,729
I did not take any fee for my parent's estate. I did have one sister that did a lot to help with things, one other sister that was essentially incapable and my sister and I preferred the other sister to just stay away and out of our work. All three of us kids lived out of the state. I was working at the time and it required burning vacation time and travel trips. Same for my sister that helped. Estate was split 1/3 each equally.

In your case you are right that it is a lot of time consuming work. Also right in that you can legally take a fee. In my case I only covered expenses for myself and sister, no labor charge so to speak. In the end, my sister and I each did approx similar amounts of work. So I only did about half of what you are doing. Took me about 2.5 years to clear out everything and close the estate out.

It's up to you, how much does not have to be full 5%. Ask your siblings what they think is fair for your efforts? Have they given any figures? At a minimum you should be reimbursed for any expenses you incurred. That can also include mileage on your vehicle, postage fees, copying fees, legal fees, food, and whatever else that may have been money out of your pocket.
__________________
After Monday & Tuesday even the calendar says, W-T-F...

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now [4/24/17 changed to 80%]
Retired Aug 2, 2017; age 53
38Chevy454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:21 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florence, AL/Helen, GA
Posts: 2,537
I took no compensation for being executor on my parents' estates. My father's will Didn't require probate and all I did was rollover his joint interest in the house to my mother. My mother's will had to be probated only because she still owned the house. Her business was simple, and I just had to do income tax returns for her and the estate separately.

But my sister devoted 5 years of her life taking care of my parents and coordinating their household and doctors visits. Doing a little paperwork is just not doing too much.
Bamaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:26 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: E. Wash
Posts: 1,128
Suggest you separate the out of pocket costs including mileage from the "fee" element. MHO, you should be "whole" before division. After recovery of costs, the payment of a "fee" if a mater of personal choice. I like the suggestion up thread of sharing the amount of time and tasks you have had to invest and ask your sibs what they think is fair.
nwsteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:33 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 1,563
In a sense, I had it easier. I was the executor for my late wife's estate and QTIP trust.

We had no children and she had no siblings, so I was her sole heir.
There was a provision in the trust that it fell below a certain amount the trust could be dissolved. Well. I took my 5% just to help that along, as I had to file 1041 and 541 and K1 forms every year. It took me from 2005 to 2014, but i did it.
__________________
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 50/45/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% SI 2SS & 2 Pensions
Souschef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:38 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
97guns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Deep South Bay
Posts: 677
I was the executor for my fathers estate also and could have taken 2% of around 1.6mil but opted not to, there was no discussion of it with my other 2 siblings and they wouldn’t have even known if I took it. They didn’t show their true intentions because they didn’t know but their greed was shown in areas that they were aware of, estates seem to bring out the worst of people and to this day I can never forget my eldest brother for his actions.
__________________
Fired at 39 in 2009 with less than $300k in total net worth, current net worth 1.7mil
97guns is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:47 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 1,563
Quote:
Originally Posted by 97guns View Post
I was the executor for my fathers estate also and could have taken 2% of around 1.6mil but opted not to, there was no discussion of it with my other 2 siblings and they wouldnít have even known if I took it. They didnít show their true intentions because they didnít know but their greed was shown in areas that they were aware of, estates seem to bring out the worst of people and to this day I can never forget my eldest brother for his actions.
It is sad, but as Ben Franklin once said, " To know the true nature of a person, inherit with them"
So sad, but true.
__________________
Retired Jan 2009 Have not looked back.
AA 50/45/5 considering SS and pensions a SP annuity
WR 2% SI 2SS & 2 Pensions
Souschef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 08:56 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
harley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Following the nice weather
Posts: 7,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve View Post
Suggest you separate the out of pocket costs including mileage from the "fee" element. MHO, you should be "whole" before division. After recovery of costs, the payment of a "fee" if a mater of personal choice. I like the suggestion up thread of sharing the amount of time and tasks you have had to invest and ask your sibs what they think is fair.
I agree on being made whole. Other than that I wouldn't take the fee. Just my opinion.
__________________
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Anonymous (not Will Rogers or Sam Clemens)
DW and I - FIREd at 50 (7/06), living off assets
harley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 09:00 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
97guns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Deep South Bay
Posts: 677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
It is sad, but as Ben Franklin once said, " To know the true nature of a person, inherit with them"
So sad, but true.
My father and eldest brother had a very strained relationship, it wasn’t until he was sickly that my brother warmed up to my dad again. In fact my dad wanted to leave him $20k cash and it was me that made my dad rethink everything and make it an even 3 way distribution.

To me blood is thicker than any amount of money but most don’t see it that way, I was blessed enough to have retired 6 or 7 years before my fathers passing and was able to spend a lot of fired time with him
__________________
Fired at 39 in 2009 with less than $300k in total net worth, current net worth 1.7mil
97guns is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2018, 11:25 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 14,198
To me it makes a difference in how much work you have to do... if you are putting in hundreds of hours and siblings do little to nothing I would take the fee...


If it were really simple estate and not much time then either take some or none...



I am in the process of starting to liquidate some of my mom's assets... I will have to get them to some place to get them apprised and sell them... this will take some good amount of time... I will be charging.... now, I also do all my mom's bills and mail, but do not charge for that since the amount of time is not really that much...
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 12:36 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gcgang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,060
You are certainly entitled to the fee, you've EARNED it.

But is $1,500 (5% of $300,000) worth causing rifts w your family?
__________________
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. YB
gcgang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 01:02 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,925
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgang View Post
You are certainly entitled to the fee, you've EARNED it.

But is $1,500 (5% of $300,000) worth causing rifts w your family?


I agree with this - you deserve the fee for all the work you did, but if it were me, I would submit a full accounting of any reimbursable expenses to your siblings so they know what youíre being reimbursed for, and forget the fee. Not that you donít deserve it, but it sounds as though your siblings donít think you should take the fee. If you can give it up and not hold it against your siblings, it sounds like it would keep the peace.
Scuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 02:58 AM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
Accidental Retiree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 998
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgang View Post
You are certainly entitled to the fee, you've EARNED it.

But is $1,500 (5% of $300,000) worth causing rifts w your family?
$15,000 is 5% of $300,000.

ďNumbers is hard.Ē
__________________
Chief Retirement Strategist
The AR Group
Accidental Retiree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 03:31 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 1,135
Thanks for the feedback so far. Just to be clear, I don’t expect this will cause any rifts regardless of whether I take the fee or not, and there haven’t been any complaints. I’ve had a few minor expenses such as postage, copying and office supplies but not enough to worry about. I guess I’m just wondering if taking the fee is considered a faux pas similar to, say, stiffing the waiter on a tip. Sounds like it would be to some, maybe not to others.
__________________
If you push something hard enough, it will fall over ó Fudd's First Law of Opposition.
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 04:37 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 1,135
Another thing I need to consider is the fact that an executor’s fee is taxable, which has implications for the amount of my traditional IRA I might want to convert to Roth. Others might need to consider this in relation to ACA subsidies, although I don’t.
__________________
If you push something hard enough, it will fall over ó Fudd's First Law of Opposition.
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 04:54 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 18,440
I was guardian for my great-aunt for about two years and also her executor. There was a lot of work in selling various individual equity positions that she had, determining her basis, preparing two tax returns, negotiating ith the nursing home on billing errors, arranging for Medicare D and Medigap insurance, paying monthly bills, making funeral arrngements, etc. I was not an heir but my aunt was one of two principal heirs.

My aunt insisted that I charge a fee. In prepared a list of the various major things that I did and an estimate of hours spend and costed it out at different rates ranging from $35-$80/hr depending on the complexity involved. I'm sure that I underestimated on the hours but that was fine as my main motivation for serving was to help my great-aunt and aunt. It turns out that the total was a little less than 5% of the estate.

Technically, what I received was a gift from the two main beneficiaries to me so no tax implications.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.

Retired Jan 2012 at age 56...60/35/5 AA
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 05:26 AM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
Newventurer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: in the sticks
Posts: 371
Take the fee and donate it to a charity or cause that your Father would have approved of and let all interested in on the plan.

You get the satisfaction (tax deduction?) of being compensated for your efforts and controlling where the donation gets distributed, and if done in your Father’s name, a legacy for him.
Newventurer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2018, 05:31 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 18,394
That’s true - the fee is taxable - ordinary income tax rates. $5000 of the fee you would be paying yourself out of your otherwise tax-free inheritance and now becomes taxable.

Mileage, paperwork and postage costs, etc. can be reimbursed from the estate as expenses (not taxable).
__________________

__________________
Retired since summer 1999. Gosh - is it really closing in on two decades?!?!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Book recommendation - Executor's Guide MichaelB Other topics 12 12-23-2013 07:02 AM
How to select a non-human executor for our will toofrugalformycat Other topics 24 02-15-2012 04:21 PM
Need advice on Executor choice for Trust itsmyparty FIRE and Money 10 03-13-2010 12:03 PM
Advice for a first-time estate executor? Urchina Other topics 11 01-26-2009 08:49 PM
Serving as an Executor Purron Other topics 29 02-04-2008 06:36 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:41 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.