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Executor Fees

An executor is the person that a testator names in his (or her) will to manage his estate once he passes away. Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, the responsibilities of an executor can be significant. Executors are not expected to work for free. Under Article XXVII of the Illinois Probate Act of 1975, executors are entitled to be paid reasonable compensation for their work in managing an estate. To learn more about executor fees, contact a Chicago executor fees lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Duties of an Executor

Executors are responsible for the overall management of the estate, and the ultimate distribution of the assets in the estate to the beneficiaries named in the will. The executor’s activities are overseen by a Probate Court judge. The primary responsibilities of an executor include:

  • Identifying, inventorying, and securing estate assets.
  • Appraising estate assets. It make be necessary to hire a professional to appraise assets that are unique or of particularly high value.
  • Paying estate debts. This may involve paying fee attorney fees and fees of other professionals and providers for services related to managing the estate.
  • Defending the estate against claims. The executor has a duty to defend the estate against claims to only pay valid claims.
  • Collect money owed to the estate such as the decedent’s final paycheck and rent from investment property
  • Filing final income taxes for the decedent as well as filing estate tax returns if necessary.
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries based on the terms of the will.
  • Providing an estate accounting, as required by law. The accounting should include a detailed report of all money and assets that left the estate as well as all income that came into the estate.
Reasonable Compensation

As a Chicago executor fees lawyer will explain, the law allows executors to receive reasonable compensation for the work that they perform in managing an estate. This means that executors have a responsibility not to waste estate assets, and to only charge the estate ordinary and reasonable fees. What is considered “ordinary and reasonable” is based on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the estate.

Typically, the executor would charge the estate an hourly fee. Illinois courts have rejected the idea of paying an executor a fee based on a percentage of the value of the estate. Before an executor can be paid, the executor must submit a fee request to the probate court for approval.

If you are an executor and are concerned about whether or not the fee that you would like to charge is reasonable, contact an executor fees attorney in Chicago to discuss your concerns.

Objections to Executor Fees

Those who have an interest in the estate such as beneficiaries have the right to object to the executor’s fees. If a beneficiary does object, the Probate Court will schedule a hearing. After reviewing information submitted by the objector and the executor, the Probate Court judge will make the ultimate determination as to whether or not the fees that the executor submitted are reasonable.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are the executor of an estate and have questions related to executor’s fees or any other aspect of performing your duties as an executor, it is important that you discuss your concerns with someone with experience. Similarly, an experienced executor fees attorney serving Chicago has the skill and resources to assist beneficiaries and other interested parties who have questions related to executor’s fees and are considering filing an objection. 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.

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