Do Executors Get Paid?

A New York estate lawyer can help you with Probate & Estate Administration and the inheritance process.


Executors in New York are paid commissions calculated as a percentage of the value of the probate estate, minus specific bequests (i.e., personal or real property left by the will-maker to specific individuals or institutions). Generally, everything that the decedent owned individually at the time of his or her death is included in the probate estate. This includes tangible personal property, business interests, real property, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and brokerage accounts held individually.


If there is more than one Executor, they may be required to share commissions. If the value of the probate estate (minus specific bequests to named individuals or institutions) is more than $300,000, each Executor (up to a total of two) is entitled to be paid a full commission. If more than two Executors are named, they split two full commissions, unless the will-maker has provided otherwise.


A will-maker can specify in his or her Will that the named Executor must waive commissions in order to serve. This approach only makes sense if the person named is a beneficiary of the estate since being an Executor is time consuming job involving significant responsibility.


A bank or trust company will not serve as an Executor unless it is entitled to commissions. Sometimes an attorney will agree to serve without commissions (or for reduced commissions) if his or her firm will receive legal fees for work done during the estate administration.


The commission rate in New York for an Executor is 5% on the first $100,000 in the estate, 4% on the next $200,000, 3% on the next $700,000, 2-1/2 % on the next $4,000,000 and 2% on any amount above $5,000,000. Banks and Trust Companies may charge more for their services.


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