Some states lay out clear, concise terms for what compensation an executor receives for settling an estate. Texas isn’t one of them, but its statutes are a bit more precise than states that just mention reasonable fees without giving any real indication of what reasonable might be. The Texas probate code lays out some rules, although they may not be particularly generous.
Terms of the Will
If the decedent leaves detailed instructions in his will for how he wants his executor to be paid, his wishes prevail and the Texas probate code doesn't get involved. The will might set a specific fee or say that the executor should receive a percentage of the estate. If the will says the executor should receive no compensation, the court will honor the deceased’s wishes in this case as well.
If the will is silent and makes no mention of payment to the executor, Texas law takes over. The statutes say an executor is entitled to 5 percent of all money the estate takes in while in probate. She’s also entitled to 5 percent of all the estate’s expenditures, such as payment of the decedent’s debts. This excludes cash or accounts the deceased had in his ownership at the time of his death, which would be part of his estate. It’s limited to income the estate takes in and money it pays out. If probate turns out to be a snarled nightmare, however, the executor can ask the court for more money. The court can approve her request as long it’s reasonable, along the lines of what other executors have been paid for handling equally complicated estates.