Fees for Serving as Executor or Trustee of a Decedent's Estate for 2018
Occasionally my clients inquire about the possibility of having me serve as executor of an estate or trustee of a trust established under the client’s estate plan. The ethical guidelines which govern the professional conduct of all Virginia attorneys require that I encourage my clients to consider all of the alternatives available to them before selecting an executor or trustee. Choices for those who might be selected to serve include a trusted member of your family or close personal friend, a bank or trust company, even another law firm. It is important to remember that a family member or friend who is not able to perform certain tasks can hire an attorney or accountant to assist with those tasks. You should compare the potential fees of the persons or organizations you are considering naming as executors and trustees.
If you would like to consider naming me as executor and / or trustee, please first review the fees that I charge for serving in these roles. My current fee schedule is shown below.
Executor and Trustee Fee Schedule
Estate Administration. For services as executor or trustee rendered in the administration of an estate, where assets pass under a will or trust or by intestacy, my fee will be based upon a percentage of the value of the gross estate for federal estate tax purposes, as determined in accordance with federal estate tax guidelines. My current fees are determined as set forth below:
- 5% on first $ 500,000
- 4% on next $ 500,000
- 3% over $1,000,000
However, when I serve as executor of small estates, I reserve the right to determine my fee on an hourly basis, in lieu of a fee based upon a percentage of the estate. When I bill in this manner, my fee is computed at 125% of my normal hourly billing rate. I bill a premium over my normal hourly rate because of the risks inherent in serving as executor.
Trust Administration. For services as trustee in the ongoing administration of a trust, my annual fee will be based upon a percentage of the fair market value of assets of the trust. My current fees are determined as set forth below:
- 1% on first $500,000
- 3/4 of 1% on next $500,000
- 1/2 of 1% on amounts over $1,000,000
I reserve the right to charge a minimum annual trustee’s fee of $2,500 on trusts we administer.
Supplementary Services. I charge for certain supplementary services at an hourly rate or at a flat fee that is in addition to my annual trustee’s fee. Supplementary services include:
- Court accountings preparation $150 per hour
- Tax accountings preparation $150 per hour
- Annual tax return preparation $150 per hour
Professional Investment Advisor.
I am not a professional investment advisor. When I serve as executor or trustee, I usually employ a professional investment advisor to manage the investments of any estate or trust under my control. I am willing to select a competent investment advisor recommended by the grantor or the beneficiaries of the trust. Please note that the fees of the investment advisor are in addition to the fees of the executor or the trustee.