Is it true that Georgia probate law says an executor gets paid by the estate? How much?

There are a couple of factors that go into whether and how much an executor is paid. This week’s Georgia probate law question comes from Atlanta, Georgia. This is the type of issue that our Georgia probate lawyers discuss frequently with clients and beneficiaries.

Under Georgia law, an executor may serve with or without compensation, as directed in the will. If the will does not say anything about executor compensation, then the executor will be compensated according to the default rules of Georgia probate law.

executor gets paid by the estateIf executor compensation is mentioned in the will, it may set a specific amount of compensation, or identify a formula or other method of calculating the executor’s compensation. If that is the case, then the executor will be compensated as the will directs, and usually may not receive additional compensation under Georgia probate law.

The will may also state that the executor will serve without compensation. If that is the case, then the executor will not receive any compensation at all.

Finally, the will may be silent regarding executor compensation or it may direct that the executor be compensated according to Georgia probate law. In this case, there is a specific scheme outlined in the law. First, an executor is entitled to receive 2 1/2 percent of all money brought into the estate, and 2 1/2 percent of all money paid or distributed out of an estate. Interestingly, this amount does not include the value of real estate (unless it is sold by the executor) or stocks and bonds (unless sold by the executor). In addition, the executor may receive 10 percent of any interest earned by the estate. Lastly, by petitioning the appropriate Georgia probate court, the executor may receive additional compensation of up to 3 percent of the value of non-money property (such as real estate, stocks, and bonds) that is distributed to the beneficiaries without being sold.

Calculating the appropriate amount of executor compensation can be a challenging task. This is especially true where there are concerns about whether an executor has acted in the best interests of the estate because there are several situations where an executor can lose his or her right to compensation, such as when the executor has engaged in self-dealing or other bad acts. For more about that, take a look at this article.

Because these types of calculations can sometimes be complex, our office recommends that you hire a competent Georgia probate attorney to make sure everything is done right.  Call us at 770-920-6030 or click here to request a consultation with a member of our team.

Disclaimer: The information above is provided for general information only and should not be considered legal advice. Our probate lawyers provide legal advice to our clients after talking about the specific circumstances of the client’s situation. Our law firm cannot give you legal advice unless we understand your situation by talking with you. Please contact our law office to receive specific information about your situation.