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Executor’s Commission

Executor’s Commission

The role of an executor is often considered ‘a thankless task’

There is no doubt that time and effort is usually involved with the administration of an estate.  The executor is the deceased person’s legal personal representative and responsible for carrying out the terms of the Will.  In doing so however, the executor may be left with the task of arranging for the disposal of the deceased’s personal assets, arranging for the sale of a property, engaging a real estate agent, attending the solicitor’s office for advice and to give instructions (usually on several occasions) and so it goes on.  The work involved varies depending upon the size of the estate and the nature of the assets in the estate. 

Section 86(1) of the Probate and Administration Act 1989 (NSW) allows for a commission to be paid to an executor for their time and efforts spent in administering the estate as is just and reasonable.  The Court takes into consideration the work performed by the executor when determining the amount of the commission.  The application must be made to the Supreme Court shortly prior to the completion of the estate.  For straight forward estates the commission is usually between 0.25% and 1.25% of the value of the assets in the estate.  However, an executor’s commission can be as much as 5% depending on the work involved in administering the estate, time spent and skill, care and responsibility undertaken by the executor.  An executor who is also a beneficiary of an estate is not precluded from making application to the Court for executor’s commission.

It is open to the willmaker to include a clause in the Will making provision for payment of a commission to the executor.  This takes away the need for the executor to apply to the Court and the associated cost and delay.

Please contact Cavelle Lindsay if you would like to discuss this further.

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