Were you recently appointed as the executor of a loved one’s estate? Or did your loved one pass away with a will and the court has permitted you to serve in this role? This raises a lot of questions about the costs and time involvement of probate and it can be very difficult to understand how you are eligible to receive payment for your services. Beneficiaries might not recognize that as an executor you are responsible for so many different aspects of closing out the estate.
Even in the best-case scenarios this still involves gathering all of the assets, making a report, paying creditors and tax returns, and distributing any remaining assets to beneficiaries. In more complicated estates, such as those where someone contests the will or when it’s difficult to locate all assets, probate can be delayed significantly and can involve extraordinary measures or work undertaken by the executor. For this reason, in Iowa, as with many other states, executors are entitled to receive compensation for their service.
Basics of Iowa Executor Fees
Speaking with an Iowa executor fees attorney can help you to clarify the circumstances under which you are eligible to charge a fee and some common pitfalls to avoid. The basic calculation of a personal representative’s fee is very similar to the basic calculation of attorney’s fees. This means $220 plus 2% of the probated estate. Iowa code enables personal representatives, also known as executors, to be compensated for their work since probate can be a difficult and complicated process. It’s important to remember that as a personal representative, this is taxable income so if you are a beneficiary of the estate, some family members will also turn down the opportunity to collect a fee for their role in serving as an executor. This decision is up to you but you can consult with an executor fees lawyer in Iowa if you have further questions about the most appropriate course to take.
Other Aspects of Iowa Probate Fees
Iowa’s probate fees are typically modest when compared with those of other states. Iowa probate statute allows the attorney serving in the role of the estate, much like an executor, to also charge a reasonable fee on the same schedule. An executor might have an itemized statement for the estate and in these cases the fees must be approved by the court.
Because of the significant expertise and substantial time involvement on the part of the executor, it may not be in the executor’s interest to take the fee if that same party is indeed entitled to a large portion of the same money. Keeping track of all of the work you’ve done in the estate can help to support any claims you have around your ability to get paid as the Iowa estate executor. Executor compensation can be tricky for beneficiaries to understand especially when they assume that they will be receiving the full value of the estate.
Beneficiaries are only entitled to receive assets from the estate after all creditors have been paid and when taking into account things such as the reasonable compensation for the personal representative. Iowa code 83-633-197 outlines the formal rules for reasonable compensation which cannot exceed rates applied to the gross value of the estate.
The gross value of the estate is calculated prior to considering any obligations or debt. These caps include 6% for the first $1000, 4% for the next $4000, and 2% for everything beyond this level. Consider a consultation with a trusted executor fees lawyer in Iowa to get your questions answered first.