An executor carries out the terms of a will. When a family or attorney submits a will to probate, the court takes into account the will's appointment of executor. If the will has no such appointment, or the executor can't carry out his duties, the court can appoint an executor to carry out this function. In Michigan, as in other states, the executor's compensation depends on several different factors.
Michigan Law on Executors
In Michigan law, the individual who carries out instructions in a will is known as a personal representative. The court grants letters of authority to this individual that allows him to handle the estate, sell property, pay debts and disburse funds to beneficiaries. Michigan law allows for a shortened probate procedure for estates valued at less than $22,000. The amount rises to $62,000 if there is a surviving spouse. In this case, handling of the estate goes to the spouse or next of kin who applies as the personal representative by petition.
In Michigan, the law allows the personal representative to charge a reasonable fee for handling an estate. Some other states, by contrast, allow fees as a percentage of estate assets. The components of a "reasonable fee" in Michigan include this number as well as other factors, including the complexity of the estate, the number of hours expended, and the need for any probate litigation. The Michigan law firm of Thav and Associates estimates an average reasonable fee as about 5 percent of assets. If the assets totaled $100,000, for example, a reasonable fee would be $5,000.