Executor Compensation and Fees (MS)
If the will does not specify how executor compensation should be calculated, MS estates must follow state compensation rules (see MS calculator below).
In Mississippi, if executor compensation is not specified in the will, the executor is entitled to compensation the court "deems proper considering the value and worth of the estate and considering the extent or degree of difficulty of the duties discharged by the executor".
One common approach in Mississippi is to base executor compensation as a percentage of the gross estate value (before considering debts, but not including assets that the executor doesn't actually manage, such IRAs or 401Ks with named beneficiaries):
- 5.0% on the first $100K
- 4.0% on the next $200K
- 3.0% on the next $700K
- 2.5% on the next $4M
- 2.0% on the next $5M
- 1.5% on anything more
So, for example, a Mississippi estate worth $75K would yield $3.5K in executor fees, and one worth $500K would generate $15K in executor fees.
Alternately, you can use a "services-rendered" approach, and bill by the hour. The hourly rate can be determined according to the nature of the work involved, the effort involved, the professional background of the executor, the results and benefits of that work for the heirs, and so forth. If you charged $35/hour, and spent 400 hours, you would charge $14K.
Both approaches have the potential to be reasonable, and in fact previous statute mandated the uses of estate percentages, and subsequent case law (Estate of Bessie L. Lusk) has affirmed the validity of services-rendered. Whatever approach you decide, you should probably keep detailed records of your efforts in case you need to justify your fee in court, since the court will want to see this in determining the overall context for reasonableness:
- 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)
MS Compensation Calculator
EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for MS estates, but please keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for MS 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. 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, and is the more common approach in MS. 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).
See also Compensation for general remarks on executor compensation.