Can an executor charge a fee for managing an estate?


The short answer, Yes. The executor has the right to charge a fee or “compensation” for managing an estate.


The Trustee Act states: “A trustee, guardian or personal representative is entitled to such fair and reasonable allowance for the care, pains and trouble, and the time expended in and about the estate, as may be allowed by a judge of the Superior Court of Justice.”


While there is no set fee in the Trustee Act or elsewhere, the courts have developed “guidelines” for calculating the executor’s compensation.


Guidelines are just that – a general recommendation.  Compensation must be discussed with the appropriate parties since the time commitment to being an executor is significant.


Here are some guidelines that can be followed regarding Executor Compensation:




(1) Personal representatives may receive fair and reasonable compensation for their responsibility in administering an estate by performing the personal representatives’ duties.
(2) Compensation paid to a personal representative is for all the services performed by the personal representative to complete the administration of the estate including distribution of the estate and the conclusion of any trusts.
(3) A personal representative may receive compensation for the care and management of property in an estate only if:
(a) there is no outright distribution of that estate property at the date of death, and
(b) the trust is not varied by agreement among the affected beneficiaries or by the court.




[2] The following factors are relevant when determining the compensation charged by or allowed to personal representatives:


(a) the gross value of the estate;
(b) the amount of revenue receipts and disbursements;
(c) the complexity of the work involved and whether any difficult or unusual questions were raised;
(d) the amount of skill, labour, responsibility, technological support and specialized knowledge required;
(e) the time expended;
(f) the number and complexity of tasks delegated to others;
(g) the number of personal representatives appointed in the will, if any. 




[3] Additional compensation may be allowed when personal representatives:


(a) are called upon to perform additional roles in order to administer the estate, such as exercising the powers of a manager or director of a company or business,
(b) encounter unusual difficulties or situations, or
(c) must instruct on litigation.


As you can see, being an executor can be complex and time consuming.

Make sure you have a system to assist you every step of the way.


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