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What is the percentage that an attorney is to get for his compensation as an executor of a will?

Erie, PA |

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.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    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.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. 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, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. 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. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  2. 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.

    This response does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. It is also not to be taken as firm legal advice as such would be contingent on a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter. The response is meant to be a helpful guide to a question in a manner which reflects the limited information provided by the inquirer.

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