Executor Compensation and Fees (VT)
If the will does not specify how executor compensation should be calculated, VT estates must follow state compensation rules (see VT calculator below).
Vermont statute authorizes "reasonable fees" for the executor, and says little further in the law. However, there are slightly more detailed general rules for professional lawyers that may provide some help in understanding what to charge (see Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.5a), listing factors to consider including:
- 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 VT 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 $100K estate which required 200 hours of work might generate $5K 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)
In Vermont, even if a will specifies the compensation for the executor, the executor may renounce the relevant provision, and be entitled to standard compensation.
As an aside, Vermont Statute Title 32 § 1143 states that executors may be paid $4 per day spent in court, but this is geared towards the court paying appointed agents, and that amount was set in 1866. Since we are talking about what the estate pays the executor, for work that largely occurs outside the courtroom, and in the 21st century, this statute is largely irrelevant.
VT Compensation Calculator
EstateExec provides the following executor compensation estimator for VT estates, but please keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules for VT 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. 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.