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What can executors charge an estate?

| Nov 16, 2020 | Probate

When you agreed to be the executor of someone’s estate, you had no idea how time-consuming and costly the process would become. It’s draining your energy and your wallet.

Is there any way to make the estate pay some of your expenses? Can you ask to be reimbursed for your time? Here’s what you should know.

Executors can charge a fee for their services

Every state has different rules on what executors can charge. In Arizona, the law is somewhat vague. It allows executors “reasonable compensation,” which means that the probate court will ultimately decide what you can charge. Generally speaking, that will be a percentage of the value of the estate and will likely be determined by what the state considers typical for the area and appropriate based on the estate’s size.

Executors can charge certain expenses to the estate

In addition, you do have a right to make the estate pay for certain things. These include the cost of things like:

  • Copies of the death certificate
  • Necessary repairs to the deceased’s real property either to preserve its value or ready it for sale
  • Transportation costs when you live at some distance
  • Funeral costs for the deceased
  • Taxes owed by the deceased
  • Professionals hired to help with the estate, like appraisers, accountants and attorneys

You do have to be cautious about these charges. You don’t want to be accused of self-dealing. It’s smart to keep all your receipts and records so that you can show that your expenses were clearly tied to the administration of the estate if you’re ever challenged.

You don’t have to manage the estate or the probate process on your own. An attorney with probate experience can take many of the burdens off your shoulders.