An executor or administrator may be entitled to remuneration for administering the estate of a deceased person either automatically, by agreement with the estate’s beneficiaries, or otherwise by making an application to Court for commission.
An entitlement to remuneration will be automatic where a clause in a Will stipulates commission is to be paid, although this award of commission can be altered by the court upon Application.
All is not lost, however, for those administrator’s and executor’s administering an estate where there is no remuneration clause, or where a person has died without a valid Will. In these cases, an executor or administrator may seek remuneration for their services, sometimes referred to as their ‘pains and troubles,’ in administering an estate. This can be achieved by entering into a properly constructed agreement with the beneficiaries, where all beneficiaries are adults with capacity, or otherwise by making an Application to Court.
The range of commission that may be granted can vary depending upon the circumstances of each estate. The way in which commission is calculated can also vary. For example, it may be a specific percentage of the assets and/or income of the Estate, although it does not have to be determined in this way. Matters relevant to the amount of commission can include the: amount of work and judgment involved in realising assets and earning income; extent and level of administrative activities; level of responsibility generally; duration of the administration; and, the size of the estate. and its capacity to pay.
If you are the executor or administrator of an estate, and you are considering seeking remuneration for your services, we recommend you make an appointment with Amanda Tomlinson of our office to take legal advice about commission before the administration of the estate has been concluded.