Typically, executors are entitled to receive reasonable monetary compensation reimbursing them for their time and efforts. In New York, executors customarily receive a commission-based compensation, and their total commissions depend on the value of the assets they are charged with administering. Often, decedents will name trusted friends or family members to serve as executors of their estates. Executors can waive their compensation, but this typically only occurs with family members. The person you select to oversee your will should be familiar with your financial situation and someone you trust. You can also select a business or institution to serve as your executor and this may be a good choice since the business may have extensive experience in this role. You can also name an alternate executor to serve as the responsible adult or institution in case your primary selection is unavailable or unwilling to serve.
An executor’s commission depends on the total value of your probate estate. Your probate estate includes your real and personal property, but it does not include jointly owned real or personal property. Your probate estate also excludes your specific bequests that you leave your heirs or descendants. As such, an executor’s commission usually includes only your non-jointly owned estate property and excludes bequests or legacies. In the next post, we’ll address why an executor’s commission for administering a decedent’s will does not include compensation for jointly owned property.