Executors are entitled to reasonable payments for the services that they provide in closing out an estate, also known as estate administration. Alabama is no exception to this. At the state level, statutes will determine how much this person can be paid and if you have been appointed to serve as an executor in Alabama it is important that you understand these fees. Likewise, if you are a beneficiary of an estate in Alabama, you will want to be clear about the executor fees that can be paid out so that you can hire a probate litigation lawyer if you believe that someone has done something improper with these fees.
Alabama law enables the executor of any estate to file with the court a request for an executor fee that is no higher than 5% of the value of the estate being probated. Methods like this are often used to compensate executors because when there are more assets in the estate, it is typically more complicated for the executor to carry out all of their necessary duties.
Alabama executors are entitled to reasonable compensation of up to 2.5% of assets received and 2.5% of disbursements. Funds that pass outside of the probate process, however, are not included in these calculations.
This can include life insurance policies and 401(k)s or other accounts that pass directly to named beneficiaries based on the forms filed by the account owner for those beneficiaries. Some of the different factors to consider as it relates to executor fees compensation in Alabama include the size of the estate and the overall results obtained, the capabilities and experience of the person assigned to the role of executor, compensation that is customarily charged in similar cases, and the difficulty or uniqueness of the administrative process.
Further Compensation for Executors in Alabama
The court can also allow for additional compensation beyond what has been stated here as a guideline. This is one of the extraordinary services that need to be performed by the executor and have been completed. Provided that there is no contract with the decedent and that no alternate personal representative is willing to serve and carry out those extraordinary services for the compensation provided in the will, compensation can alternately be set to any amount so long as every heir to the estate agrees and the amount is not unconscionable per Alabama Code 43-2-848.
Circumstances may vary based on the complexity of the case and it is important as a beneficiary of an estate to be mindful of cases in which the administrator of the estate might claim that they are performing extraordinary services. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced Alabama executor fees attorney can give you a better perspective on this process.
If you are planning to name someone in your estate to serve in this important role, you need to be clear that they are not only comfortable with the responsibilities as outlined but are also clear with the payment procedures. It can be difficult or impossible to alter these payment procedures unless the executor is able to successfully argue that they have carried out extraordinary services. Because of these unique challenges, you need to be clear that anyone appointed as an executor in your personal estate is aware of these issues and is prepared to adapt as necessary.
The support of an experienced executor fees attorney in Alabama can help to clear up many of the most common questions around how an executor can get paid and what to do if you are a beneficiary of an estate and believe that someone has been unfairly compensated for their services. It is very customary for someone who is carrying out all of these different tasks to be paid and you should not be surprised to see a portion of the estate go towards this.