Have you been appointed to close out a loved one’s estate? This is known as an estate executor role and carries a big to-do list along with it. From inventorying all the assets inside an estate to paying off creditors by liquidating those, there are many details to keep track of in closing out an estate, especially if there are a lot of assets. Colo. Rev. St.§ 15-5-701. Since this is such a significant role with responsibilities, you might be curious about both how much of your time this will take as well as whether or not you can be paid for the work you provide. The answer to the payment question is yes, executors in Colorado are paid for their services. Colo. Rev. St.§ 15-10-602.
Basics of Colorado Executor Payments
Any person who is appointed in the role of an executor of an estate, either directly through the will or by the courts because no will existed, could be entitled to receive compensation for the services they provide.
This is because there are many different tasks and responsibilities associated with being the executor of an estate, and furthermore, someone serving in this role has personal liability for this situation. Each state determines whether or not specific rules apply to the payment available to an executor.
This most frequently comes up when a personal representative or executor is first appointed and has questions about what they should charge for the services they provide or when other beneficiaries of the estate are questioning whether or not an executor has charged appropriately. In Colorado, there are no strict rules about how much a personal representative or executor can charge.
As a Colorado executor fees lawyer can tell you, this is evaluated on a case by case basis. Per Colo. Rev. St.§ 15-10-602, a personal representative is entitled to receive reasonable compensation for their services. A probate court will consider numerous factors in deciding whether or not the payment requested is reasonable.
First of all, this can include the time and labor required by the executor, the skill requisite to perform the service properly, the difficulty of any of the questions involved in settling that particular estate, the fee that is customarily charged in similar cases for similar services and the acceptance of the particular employment being one that could potentially exclude that party from other employment.
The time limitations imposed by the individual case can also be evaluated by probate courts in determining whether or not there is appropriate payment. Probate courts in Colorado, as a Colorado executor fees lawyer can tell you, cannot order that evaluation of the estate be used as the baseline for determining how much an executor should get paid. Instead, they must look at the factors named above. It cannot be ordered by the Colorado courts that a share of the estate be paid out to the personal representative as a fee.
Public Administrator in Colorado
The vast majority of probate courts in Colorado will appoint a public administrator. This is someone who is appointed by that probate court to handle the administration of estates when there is no other person to do so or when the family cannot come to terms on who should be appointed as the executor. Usually in Colorado, public estate administrator will charge a minimum of $200 per hour. As a baseline, Denver public administrators charge approximately $125 per hour for paralegals. It can be very overwhelming to figure out this process when you have been appointed as a personal representative of an estate but you should also be familiar with the potential issues that could arise when an executor is claiming unreasonable compensation.
You might not know all of the different facts involved in the management of the estate but be certain that these will come up in the evaluation by the probate court to decide whether or not the fees requested by an executor or by the time they have claimed to be involved in the case is applicable based on these particular situations.