Why doesn’t an executor receive any compensation for jointly owned property? The answer is simple. An executor’s duties are to administer your estate pursuant to your written will or pursuant to New York’s intestacy laws. Your jointly owned assets do not pass under your will, and by operation of state law, they pass to surviving joint tenants or owners and are not subject to probate. The total commission an executor can receive depends on the value of your estate, reasonable expenses incurred and the total bequests. New York law incorporates a statutory rate schedule whereby an executor receives a percentage commission for what he pays out.
In other words, your will cannot control who inherits your jointly owned property. Instead, for jointly owned real property, your written property deed controls who owns your property when you pass away. According to New York property laws, by operation of law, jointly owned real property with rights of survivorship pass to surviving owners. If you owned your real property with one other owner, then upon your death, your property passes to the surviving joint owner. Similarly, with joint bank accounts, joint account holders inherit the remaining assets within a joint account at one joint owner’s death.
Your probate estate does not include other types of personal property, including certain types of investment property. If you owned a life insurance policy, your named beneficiaries would receive your life insurance payout or proceeds when you die, and by operation of law, your written policy controls who will receive your life insurance proceeds.