- by Melanie Webre
- in More
When a loved one passes away, there are numerous tasks that must be completed in settling the estate. Before any property or funds can be distributed among heirs and beneficiaries, the probate process ensures that all of the deceased’s assets are accounted for and all outstanding obligations are paid. The person who oversees this process and completes many of the tasks associated with closing the estate is the executor. Executors are entitled to receive reimbursement for their expenses, along with compensation for the job they perform.
Does an Executor Get Paid?
When creating a last will and testament, you will need to decide on an executor for your estate. Also known as a personal representative, this person has specific duties and responsibilities outlined by the Georgia Probate Court, which are often time-consuming and require a certain degree of general knowledge and skill, including:
- gathering and making an inventory of all estate assets;
- paying debt and expenses associated with estate administration;
- selling estate property;
- completing tax returns;
- making distributions to beneficiaries;
- submitting a final accounting with the probate court.
To complete these tasks properly, the executor will generally require the assistance of an experienced Georgia family law attorney. The executor is entitled to reimbursement for this and other expenses, along with administrative fees that equate to a certain percentage of the estate. This will often be outlined within the deceased person’s will.
Executor Fees in Georgia
Even if the last will and testament does not include provisions for executor fees, the executor may still be entitled to compensation under Title 53 of the Georgia Probate Code, which governs wills, trusts, and the administration of estates.
Under Section 53-6-60, if the decedent, which is the person leaving the will, does not specify in writing any fees which are to be paid to the executor, the law entitles personal representatives to receive a commission based on the assets and property contained within the estate, including:
- a commission of two and one half percent on all debts collected that were owed to the estate, and the same amount in commission on all sums paid out for debts, distributions to heirs, and legacies;
- a ten percent commission on any interest that accrues on accounts owned by the estate;
- three percent of the value of any non-money property distributed to beneficiaries and heirs, which includes real estate and assets such as stocks or bonds.
Depending on the size of the estate and the total amount of assets and property, these fees can add up to significant amounts of money. On the other hand, a larger estate also means more work for the executor and a greater likelihood of needing assistance from a family law attorney experienced in Georgia probate matters.
Reach Out to Stearns‑Montgomery & Proctor for Assistance
At Stearns‑Montgomery & Proctor, we are here to provide the experienced, professional legal guidance you need through the probate process and in all aspects of estate planning. We have six offices serving Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Call or contact our office online today to request a consultation.