If you have recently been appointed as an executor of a loved one’s estate in Hawaii, you need to quickly become familiar with the state laws as it relates to the responsibilities you hold in this position. Furthermore, you’ll need to keep on top of all of the tasks that you have done, not only so that you can provide them to the court in an accounting but so that you can make a case for being paid executor fees. Executor fees are those payments made based on the assets inside the estate out to a personal representative for the work he or she has done. Every state allows for the payment of executor fees but it is not always easy to tell exactly how much you may be eligible to recoup. Hawaii laws provides that an executor is entitled to reasonable compensation HI Rev Stat § 560:3-719.
Recovering Payment for Serving as an Executor In Hawaii
As an executor fees lawyer in Hawaii can tell you, it is common practice for someone to get paid for the services they have provided as an executor. In certain cases, it might even be stated in the will by the person who crafted this document explaining how the executor should be paid and to what extent. Executor fees help a personal representative to recover the compensation they are owed as a result of all the work they have put in. There are general guidelines for the basic tasks and responsibilities of an executor and in some cases the courts might also allow for additional payments as an executor fees attorney in Hawaii can tell you. Hawaii uses the grounds of reasonable compensation for executor fees. HI Rev Stat § 560:3-719
This means that the compensation is determined by the probate court and the most common factor used to identify this is what people have received in the past for similar situations in that area. For example, if last year executor fees were 1% then 1% would be considered reasonable but 2% or 3% might be considered unreasonable.
Other factors that the court takes into account when determining executor fees are how involved the estate was and whether the executor had to go above and beyond in tehri role in any way. For example, imagine that a will contest was filed or that other forms of probate litigation emerged over the course of the case. This means that the executor might have had to step into positions and take on tasks that they did not anticipate at the outset. It is important to think about this as you are crafting your own estate planning as well because who you install as personal representative is a very important choice to make.
Other Factors Hawaii Considers in Reasonable Compensation
Hawaii’s guidelines do not specifically go into exact details about how executor fees can be paid but the general guideline is reasonable which encourages courts to look at factors, such the overall size of the estate, any time limitations that apply to the case, the capabilities and experience of the person involved, the nature of the work involved and the compensation typically charged for similar services. The most common approach for charging executor fees in Hawaii is a services rendered approach, meaning that the person either bills as a percentage of the overall estate value for all of the work they did or bills by the hour based on the tasks that they did. If you are appointed as an executor, you need to keep track of all of the details of how you have handled the estate because this information might become relevant when you make a formal accounting to the court.
Beneficiaries are also entitled to raise questions around the role that an executor or the compensation that party has received if they believe it to be unreasonable. In all of these circumstances, it is beneficial to have the guidance of a Hawaii executor fees attorney at your side to have clarity over your role and responsibility and to avoid many of the most common problems.