Will says executor receives 30K for acting as personal representative for their own use absolutely. Who pays their lawyer?
New York, NY |
The executor hires a high priced attorney to assist in probate, an accountant to manage the money and racks up additional fees of 28K. Is the estate to pay or has the executor "hired out" their duties and must pay out of pocket?
These are estate administration that must be paid by the estate. The executor fee is not diminished by these costs. However, the total fees must be reasonable. You need to sit down with an estates attorney in your area to review all the facts to see if these fees are reasonable.
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These type of expenses are paid by the estate off the top. Depending on your standing, you can challenge any fees, including a legal fee, paid by the executor or claimed to be owed. There are two ways of doings this. However, the amount of fees you are disputing is relatively small and you will rack up legal fees in challenging it. As a cost benefit analysis, it likely is not worth it to you. You have to be realistic. The lawyer will get paid something, even if the bill is reduced.
In almost all cases to probate an estate requires the specialized knowledge of a probate lawyer. So executors are expected to hire lawyers. Likewise accountants are often employed to prepare taxes. If the estate's finances are complicated it may take an accountant some time to arrive at the numbers that go into the tax forms. So, as a general rule, it is not unreasonable for the executor to hire at additional cost a lawyer and accountant. However, whether any fee is reasonable is an issue for the probate court if an heir whose inheritance is decreased by the fee wants to challenge it.