An executor is the person named in a will to handle the affairs in a probate proceeding. An administrator is a person appointed by a probate court where there is no valid will. Both executors and administrators are entitled to compensation paid from the proceeds of an estate.
The maximum amount of compensation that an executor can be paid for handling an estate is usually limited by state law. The percentage allowed is usually set at between 1 percent and 4 percent of the value of the entire estate.
Qualification as an Executor
Generally, any mentally competent adult specifically named executor in a will is entitled to handle a probate estate. An executor can be removed for improper or financially unsound conduct occurring before or after appointment. Frequently, attorneys, banks and other professional executors are appointed to serve as executors.
Value of Estate
The value of a probate estate is determined by calculating the fair market value (FMV) of property for personal and/or real property that is not sold through probate proceedings. In most cases, the amount received from the sale of estate property represents the value upon which the executor's fee is calculated. In other words, if the executor sells a painting for $100, then the court will generally assume that the FMV of that property to the estate is $100.