There were two people appointed in a will. One was an attorney and the other was a friend of the person who passed away. The gross value of the estate is $191,603.26. The lawyer is charging an attorney fee of $15 k instead of an executors commission. The other one is getting an executors commission of $5000. I just got the final accounting of the estate and the attorney's fee seems excessive.
Mr Begley gives the relevant law in this area. In addtion be aware that an attorney who serves in both capacities is entitled to a fee for both services but such overall fee must be reasonable. In addition, the total fees of all fiduciaries need to be reasonable also. So the executor fee under Johnson would be split between the two of them; they are not both entitled to such fee.
I would speak to these people directly with the law and information you now possess and ask them to reduce the overall fees charged. Otherwise contest it at the formal accounting with orphans court.
Hope this helps.
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Estate Planning Attorney
In many states, the commission of an executor is set by statute and percentages are clearly defined. Not so in Pennsylvania. PEF 3537, Section 9.7 states, "The Court shall allow such compensation the personal representative as shall in the circumstances be reasonable and just, and may calculate such compensation on a graduated basis." In determining the reasonableness of a commission, a variety of factors should be examined including the complexity of the matter and most notably the actual time expended. In the instance in which there is more than one executor, allocation of the overall commission should be undertaken based on the percentage of work performed by one party as compared to the other.
There is a schedule which has been used from a matter know as the Johnson Estate, 4 Fiduc.Rep. 6 which proposes certain percentages for Executor's and Attorneys. Based on these calculations, the executor's commission should be $8,3664.13 and the attorneys fees should be $9,414.13. Hope this helps.
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