Getting Financial Compensation For Your Work As Personal Representative Of A Deceased Family Member’s Estate
If a family member has expressed a wish for you to act as the personal representative of their estate during probate, you might have found out that the surviving spouse of a deceased person has the right to claim a percentage of the estate even if the decedent’s will disinherited them, but no other family member has this right. There are a few exceptions, though, even though these exceptions do not have to do with a family relationship between the claimant and the deceased person. First, anyone to whom the decedent owed money has the right to claim the debt from the estate before it settles; this is why one of the personal representative’s duties is to publish a notice to creditors in the newspaper and to send notices directly to parties to whom the personal representative reasonably believes that the decedent owed money. Likewise, the personal representative can claim compensation from the estate in exchange for their work, but the amount they can claim varies according to the value of the estate and according to how much work it took to settle the estate. To find out more about your responsibilities as personal representative and about how to get paid for fulfilling them, contact a Tampa probate attorney.
How Much Work Is It to Be a Personal Representative?
Being the personal representative of a deceased family member’s estate is usually not as stressful as you expect it to be. Probate is mostly a routine process, and if the decedent wrote a will, then the estate usually settles in less than a year. Even if the decedent did not write a will, probate is usually quite simple if the value of the estate was modest. Things get more complicated if there were multiple versions of the will or if the decedent was wealthy, especially if there is some dispute over which assets are subject to probate. Likewise, probate is more work if you must sell the decedent’s real estate properties or personal property in order to satisfy debts or to divide the estate among the beneficiaries.
In most cases, the personal representative is entitled to compensation equivalent to three percent of the gross value of the estate. In other words, the compensation is based only on the value of the probate assets, so it does not include any non-probate assets such as trusts or accounts with payable on death beneficiaries. Likewise, the percentage is calculated before the estate pays any debts or before the decedent’s spouse takes an elective share. In complicated probate cases where the personal representative has an unusually heavy workload, the personal representative may be entitled to more compensation.
Contact David Toback About Exercising Your Rights as Personal Representative of an Estate
A Central Florida probate lawyer can help make your job as personal representative of a family member’s estate less stressful. Contact David Toback in Tampa, Florida to set up a consultation.