Executor Compensation and Fees (MI)
If the will does not specify how executor compensation should be calculated, MI estates must follow state compensation rules (see MI calculator below).
In Michigan, the estate executor is known as a "personal representative".
In determining executor fees, the state of Michigan 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 MI 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.
So for example, a $600K estate which required 850 hours of work might generate $22K 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.
The executor may pay himself or herself this compensation as earned, without prior court approval.
MI Compensation Calculator
EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for MI estates, but please keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for MI 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 used in various incarnations throughout the United States: you can decide which, if either, is appropriate for you. The first uses a sliding percentage scale based on the total estate gross value (the larger the estate, the smaller the percentage); the second simply compensates the executor for the value of his or her time. See estimation methodology for details.
See also Compensation for general remarks on executor compensation.