Executor Compensation and Fees (SD)

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

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

In cases where the will does not specify compensation amounts, South Dakota uses the principle of "reasonable" compensation in determining executor's fees, based on the following factors:

  • Nature of the work involved (time, effort, difficulty, skills required)
  • Compensation customarily charged (in the community for similar services)
  • Size and nature of the estate (including income generated and potential liabilities assumed)
  • Any time limitations
  • Experience and capabilities of the person

Statute limits this reasonable fee to a maximum percentage of the personal assets of the estate of:

  • 5.0% on the first $1K
  • 4.0% on the next $4K
  • 2.5% on anything more

So, for example, a South Dakota estate worth $5K would yield a maximum of $210 in executor fees, and one worth $600K would generate at most $15,085 in executor fees.

Assets that pass directly to named beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies or 401Ks, are not included in these calculations.

Real estate is not included in the above calculations, either, unless sold. If it is not sold, then the court will separately assign a just and reasonable executor fee for any related services performed.

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 South Dakota Codified Laws § 62-3-719.

SD Compensation Calculator

EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for SD estates, but please keep in mind that circumstances may vary, and that there may be special situations addressed by local custom or law. 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.

Note that the calculator below includes income into the sum of personal standard assets and property sold, since income is explicitly mentioned as a factor in the statute. As a heuristic, the calculator also applies a 1% fee to any property unsold, but this amount is legally left to the discretion of the court.

You can use this calculator now, but if you use EstateExec to help you track the settlement process, it will automatically perform the sometimes complex calculations to provide inputs for the fields below (you can create an estate for free).

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See also Compensation for general remarks on executor compensation.

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