Executor Compensation and Fees (ME)

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If the will does not specify how executor compensation should be calculated, ME estates must follow state compensation rules (see ME calculator below).

In Maine, the estate executor is known as a "personal representative".

In determining executor fees, the state of Maine uses the commonly accepted principle of "reasonable" compensation, considering factors that include:

  • Nature of the work involved (time, effort, difficulty, skills required)
  • Compensation customarily charged (in the community for similar services)
  • Size of the estate (and the results obtained)
  • Any time limitations
  • Experience and capabilities of the person

It's common in ME to use a "services-rendered" approach, and bill by the hour (the hourly rate can be determined according to the factors above). Executors have also traditionally set fees as a percentage of the overall estate value but a 1986 court ruling in Maine (Estate of Davis, 509 A.2d 1175) discourages that approach, ruling that the amount of time expended should be the predominant factor.

So for example, a $500K estate which required 750 hours of work might generate $19K in executor fees (see calculator below)

Whatever approach you decide, it is important that you keep detailed records of your efforts in case you need to justify your fee in court:

  • Nature of the task (e.g., Drove to bank to get medallion stamp for IBM stock)
  • Amount of time spent (e.g., 2 hours)
  • Hourly rate for the task (e.g., $35/hour)
  • Results (e.g., sold the car for Blue Book value)

Even if a will specifies the compensation for the executor (and there is no contract with the decedent regarding compensation), the executor may renounce the relevant provision before being assigned executor, and be entitled to reasonable compensation.

See Maine Revised Statutes § 18-3-719 (and § 18-3-721 for rate factors).

ME Compensation Calculator

EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for ME estates, but please keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for ME estates, and ultimately you must determine what would be reasonable for your particular circumstances. By using this estimator, you acknowledge that EstateExec provides any results as informational input only, not as legal advice, and cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies for, or misunderstandings about, any given estate.

Below EstateExec provides two compensation approaches: you can decide which, if either, is appropriate for you (although Maine court rulings favor the second). The first uses a sliding percentage scale based on the total estate gross value (the larger the estate, the smaller the percentage) and its complexity; the second simply compensates the executor for the value of his or her time. See estimation methodology for details.

You can use this calculator now, but if you use EstateExec to help you track the settlement process, it will automatically calculate the inputs for you based on the estate and suggest those values in the fields below (you can create an estate for free).

An estimate using Estate Value

Compensation:  $ -

An estimate using Executor Hours

Compensation:  $ -
Average of both approaches:  $ -

See also Compensation for general remarks on executor compensation.

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