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Typical payment to Executor of a Will in PA

Horsham, PA |

What can an Executor charge for being an Executor in PA

Attorney Answers 4


... Hello ... unfortunately, there is no typical amount ... it must only be reasonable ... any schedule that is followed may be helpful, but you should not hand your hat on it ...

... And an attorney would have to understand all of the details of the estate in order to remotely suggest something reasonable ...

... Good luck ... sorry for not being able to answer a question for you simply.


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I agree with Attorney Whalen. The fee must be reasonable. You can call a fee probate attorneys for their opinions, but ultimately, unless a beneficiary objects, the court does not review accountings and fees.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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As Mr. Whalen indicates, there is no specific allowable amount. Legally it must be fair and reasonable. If called upon to review the amount paid to the Executor, the Court will consider a number of factors, including the nature of the assets held by the decedent at the time of death, the complexity of the administration and amount of time devoted to the administration. There is a guideline referred to as the Johnson Estate fee schedule. Whether the amount calculated pursuant to the guideline is fair and reasonable for a particular estate, depends upon the circumstances.

NOTE: Mr. Fischer is an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at 610-269-0900 Ext 2 or This answer was prepared for educational purposes only. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. Frequently the question does not include significant and important facts and time lines that if known could significantly change the response. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.

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It really does depend on the time spent and the complexity. The executor should keep good records of time, services, and expenses, in order to justify the fee especially if he or she is going to charge much more than the "Johnson guidelines," which I know are not official nor are they even recommended, but my personal opinion is that they are still used as a measuring stick. If there is very little to do, for example if almost all of the decedent's assets are consolidated in a brokerage account, then the charge shouldn't be very much.

Even though the court may not review them, if the executor's fee appears to be out of line on the PA inheritance tax return where they will be a deduction, there is always the chance that the PA Department of Revenue will ask the exec. to justify them. The inheritance tax return is a good window into the complexity of the estate. Also, the fee will be reviewed by the Attorney General's office if there is a charitable bequest in the will, so again they may be questioned.

The bottom line is to get the advice of an attorney if you want more specific advice about what is reasonable in a given situation.

If my answer was helpful to you, I would appreciate if you would mark it either "helpful" or "best answer" if you feel that applies, as AVVO gives us rating points based on feedback. Thank you! Please note that the above answer is not to be construed as legal advice. It is my personal opinion based on your question, and it was given without obtaining the detailed information that I would normally request in order to render comprehensive legal advice. I advise you to consult with a local attorney of your choosing to obtain specific legal advice. The fact that I answered your question does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and me.

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