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Executors: What you are entitled to

As executor, you take a lot of care and responsibility.  But what, if anything, are you entitled to?

You may pay (or reimburse) your reasonable costs and out-of-pocket expenses out of the estate’s assets (money).

Out-of-pocket expenses

These are expenses you incur directly related to carrying out your tasks as executor.  Common examples are parking fees, travel costs and deposits paid for services required by the estate such as cleaning, insurance or the funeral.

Legal fees and other professional fees

Lawyers’ fees are payable out of the estate, provided they are reasonable.  What is reasonable depends on the size and complexity of the estate, but would generally include legal fees for:

  • making an application for Probate or Letters of Administration; and
  • obtaining other advice and assistance in relation to your role and duties.

Likewise, other professional fees such as real estate agent fees (by the way, these are negotiable) and accounting fees are also payable out of the estate, provided they are reasonable.

What about payment for your time and effort?

As executor, you are entitled to be remunerated for your time and effort in managing the estate only if:

  • the Will authorises payment to you;
  • the beneficiaries, generally the residuary beneficiaries, authorise payment to you; or
  • you obtain an order from the Supreme Court of Western Australia for compensation– known as executor’s commission.

 

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