Florida law provides that “a personal representative shall be entitled to a commission payable from the estate assets without court order as compensation for ordinary services.” However, what is considered a reasonable executor fee in Florida? Keep reading to discover the range.
Executor vs. Personal Representative – Understanding the Concept
Technically speaking, “executor” is a term applied to the person named in the last will to manage the testator’s property upon his/her passing. Hence, the executor must manage the decedent’s estate and distribute the assets held within it as outlined in the will.
Ultimately, both terms are used interchangeably. Regardless of the term used to designate such a person, the duties and responsibilities of an individual administering/executing a decedent’s estate in Florida include:
- Hire skilled professionals to help throughout the process (e.g., attorneys, accountants, appraisers, etc.)
- Identify and gather the decedent’s assets subject to probate
- Determining how much the decedent’s probate assets are worth
- Provide notice to creditors
- Diligently search to locate “reasonably ascertainable” creditors and notify them the decedent has passed away
- Issue “Notice of Administration” whenever it is necessary
- Object to improper claims against the decedent’s estate
- Defend against lawsuits brought by third parties claims against the decedent’s assets (if necessary)
- Negotiate and settle valid creditors’ claims
- File tax returns and settle all the decedent’s tax liabilities
- Pay probate administering-related expenses
- Distribute the decedent’s assets to its rightful beneficiaries
- Closing the estate
What is a Reasonable Executor Fee in Florida? – As Provided by Law
As provided by Florida Statutes §733.617 (1), the commission to be paid to an executor “shall be based on the compensable value of the estate, which is the inventory value of the probate estate assets and the income earned by the estate during administration.”
Specifically, Florida Statutes §733.617 (2) lists the “commission computed on the compensable value of the estate” subject to formal administration to be reasonable compensation for a personal representative/executor. The commission rate goes as follows:
- 3% for the first $1 million of an estate’s value
- 2.5% from $1 million to $5 million
- 2% from $5 mission to $10 million
- 1.5% for anything above $10 million
Plus, Florida Statutes §733.617 (3) provides that, on top of the commission, a personal representative is allowed “further compensation as is reasonable for any extraordinary services.”
Accordingly, “any other special services which may be necessary for the personal representative to perform” may incur further compensation, including:
- Executing the sale of real or personal property
- Conducting litigation on behalf of or against the estate
- Being involved in proceedings for the adjustment or payment of any taxes.
- Carrying on of the decedent’s business.
- Dealing with protected homestead
What is a Reasonable Executor Fee in Florida? – Cases Involving Multiple Executors
According to Florida Statutes §733.617 (5), “if the probate estate’s compensable value is $100,000 or more, and there are two representatives, each personal representative is entitled to the full commission allowed to a sole personal representative.”
Nonetheless, the same statute provides that “if there are more than two personal representatives and the probate estate’s compensable value is $100,000 or more, the compensation to which two would be entitled must be apportioned among the personal representatives.”
Ultimately, if the estate’s compensable value is less than $100,000 and there is more than one personal representative, then “one full commission must be apportioned among the personal representatives according to the services rendered by each of them respectively.”
Immediately Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer
If you need further legal guidance when determining a reasonable executor’s fee in Florida, call Attorneys Romy B. Jurado and Diana C. Collazos at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.