Executor Compensation and Fees (NH)
If the will does not specify how executor compensation should be calculated, NH estates must follow state compensation rules (see NH calculator below).
In New Hampshire, the estate executor is known as an "administrator" if he or she was not explicitly appointed by the will, and in all cases, the process of settling the estate is known as "administering" the estate.
New Hampshire is one of the few states that does not explicitly address executor compensation by statute. This means that you (and the court) are free to determine what is "reasonable" in your case. In practice, this means that the following factors are often considered:
- 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 NH to use a "services-rendered" approach, and bill by the hour (the hourly rate can be determined according to the factors above); it's also common to set fees as a percentage of the overall estate value.
So for example, a $600K 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)
See re Estate of Rolfe (1992) for an in-depth discussion of relevant court rulings, and see also the NH Judicial Branch Circuit Court Administrative Office's booklet on Administering an Estate, which contains generally helpful information (although little on actual executor compensation).
NH Compensation Calculator
EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for NH estates, but please keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for NH 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) and its complexity; 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.