Estate Fees Commission
When someone passes away leaving a will the executor is the person responsible for winding up the decedent’s estate and distributing the assets in the estate based on the terms of the will. Depending on the size and the complexity of the estate, performing executor duties in Chicago can be very time-consuming. The good news is that under Illinois law, executors are not required to work for free. Executors are allowed to receive estate fees commission for their work. The only requirement under Illinois law is that such fees are reasonable. If you are an executor and would like more information about the amount of estate fees commission you can charge, contact a Chicago executor fees lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.Duties of an Executor
Executor’s estate fees commission must be reasonable. One way to judge whether or not the fees charged by an executor is too consider the duties that the executor performed in managing the estate. The more complex the duties, the more time will be involved. Some of the primary responsibilities of an executor include:
- Immediate responsibilities. Even though the executor has not been formally appointed by the probate court, there are some duties that he may need to do immediately upon the death of the testator, before the start of probate. The testator’s will must be submitted to the probate court in order for the court to open the estate. Typically it is the executor who files the will with the court and petitions the court to appoint him as the executor. In addition, the executor may be the person who takes responsibility for caring for the remains of the decedent. This may mean arranging the funeral, arranging for burial or cremation, and arranging for organ donation.
- Collecting and securing estate assets. As a Chicago executor fees lawyer will explain, one of the primary responsibilities of the executor is to locate, organize, inventory, appraise, and secure estate assets. This may include financial accounts, real estate, and personal property. If there are any fees due to professionals such as attorneys and accountants, but the executor is responsible for making sure those are paid.
- Pay estate debts. The executor must manage the finances of the estate, and pay any outstanding debts. This might involve canceling credit cards and paying outstanding balances, paying for the funeral expenses, and paying the decedent’s medical bills.
- Pay taxes. The executor must file the final income tax return for the decedent, pay estate tax if necessary, and file federal and state tax returns for the estate.
- Distribute estate assets. The executor is responsible for distributing property to beneficiaries that were named in the will, according to the terms of the will. The executor must also disburse the residual estate to beneficiaries according to the terms of the will.
- Estate accounting. One of the final responsibilities of the executor is to provide to the probate court an accounting of all of the activities related to managing the estate and distributing assets. This requires detailed information as to all of the money that left the estate, of the property that left the estate and all of the money and property that came into the estate. The estate accounting requires great accuracy, and it may require the help of an attorney.
In addition, as an executor fees attorney in Chicago will explain, the executor is responsible for responding to any estate litigation. For example, if there are any claims filed against the estate such as a will contest, it is up to the executor to defend the estate against such claims. Furthermore, there may be claims filed against executor if someone feels that he did not perform his duties in the manner required by law. Any type of this is estate disputes will complicate the executor’s job estate.Reasonable Compensation
According to the Illinois Probate Act executors are allowed to submit fees for managing an estate. However, those fees must be reasonable. Reasonable means fees that are ordinary, based on a variety of factors. One factor may be the complexity of the estate. An estate that is high value and that has complex assets may require more work than an estate state that has a lower value, only a few assets, and only a few beneficiaries. In addition, if the estate is involved in litigation the job of the executor will become more difficult.
The executor’s estate fees commission can be based on an hourly rate. However, in Chicago the fees cannot be based on a percentage of the value of the estate. The executor is required to submit the fees to the court and the court must approve them before the executor will be paid.Objections to Executor Fees
Beneficiaries and anyone else who has an interest in the estate has a right to file an objection to the estate fees commission that the executor submits to the court.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you are the executor of an estate and have questions related to fees you plan to submit, of if an interested party filed an objector to your fees, contact an experienced executor fees attorney serving Chicago. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience representing executors, beneficiaries, heirs, and fiduciaries in matters related to estate administration and estate litigation. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.