Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Paragraph (g) of Section 2-1301 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and all existing and future amendments and modifications of paragraph (g) do not apply to proceedings under Sections 20-3, 20-4 and 22-4 of this Act for the sale or mortgage of real estate or an interest therein. It says only that the fee must be “reasonable” without providing any additional guidance. Probate Jurisdiction of ACT Supreme Court; The Registrar of the ACT Supreme Court has the jurisdiction (statutory authority) to grant probate or administration of an estate upon application, supported by the necessary prescribed forms and affidavit material (see C below).There are a couple of ways to obtain a grant or letters of administration. Probate cases can be unpredictable because it's impossible to know every issue that might come up. Likewise, large estates, especially estates that are well planned, can sometimes be more efficient and simpler to handle than smaller estates. 2016 Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 755 - ESTATES 755 ILCS 5/ - Probate Act of 1975. Specific information about the attorneys in the Drendel & Jansons Law Group can be obtained on the  individual attorney pages. An executor is named in a person’s will. The Typical Fee for an Executor of Estate in Maryland. 6-3. Theoretically, cleaning out a house involves a different kind of skill and expertise than negotiating the sale of property and overseeing the transaction. Learn how your comment data is processed. 755 ILCS § 5/9-1. Yes! Ultimately, the reasonableness of the fee must be determined by the court. The question posed to the Committee was whether it is ethically permissible for a lawyer for a representative of a decedent’s estate to enter into a fee agreement, or to collect a fee, for an amount in excess of the amount of fees allowed by a Probate Court as reasonable. The court in the case In re Elias 5 held that unlike attorney fees, executor and administrator fees are limited to being paid from the assets of the estate. Illinois Probate Estate Primer. Although nominated as the executor in a last will and testament, the executor's appointment to act on behalf of the estate must be approved by the probate court, according to Illinois … . The estate administrator must pay the decedent’s income taxes as well as estate taxes. If you need more help deciding if you should accept compensation for serving as executor, read this guide.. Many states have laws that establish fees for executors and administrators based upon a percentage of the value of the estate. In Illinois, we don’t have the luxury of using a percentage as a guideline. In Illinois, we don’t have the luxury of using a percentage as a guideline. © Drendel & Jansons Law Group 2018. For some, it is a sliding scale, taking into account complexities and unique circumstances. This notion means that if executor fees were typically 1.5%, then 1.5% would be considered reasonable, and 3% may be unreasonable. However, it is acceptable to do so because the administrator’s fee is a higher … Any third party awards and recognitions described, listed or displayed on this site are not intended to be representations by the Drendel & Jansons Law Group or the attorneys in the firm, but are simply evidence of our acknowledgement and acceptance of those awards and recognitions for which we have been nominated by third parties based on whatever criteria they have used. Accountings are governed by 755 ILCS 5/24-1 of the Probate Act. If a proposal for a fee is presented to the beneficiaries of the estate together with any backup detail that was used in determining the fee, and if the beneficiaries are all agreeable, most courts will find the fee reasonable. Reasonableness isn’t simply a function of the value of the estate. Founder/president of the innovative reference publisher The Archive LLC, Tom Streissguth has been a self-employed business owner, independent bookseller and freelance author in the school/library market. C. Statutory Executor as defined by federal tax laws - … The Probate Representative. The Illinois Probate Act sets forth requirements for the Petition for Letters of Administration. (755 ILCS 5/6-3) (from Ch. The probate court has the ultimate say in whether a fee is reasonable. Many states agree that the executor of a will is entitled to reasonable compensation for her services. For this reason, its important for executors or administrators to keep track of time spent in the handling of the administration of a probate estate. Under Article XXVII of the Illinois Probate Act of 1975, executors are entitled to be paid reasonable compensation for their work in managing an estate. Traditionally, the single most useful factor in determining a reasonable fee is the time spent by the executor or administrator. This notion means that if executor fees were typically 1.5%, then 1.5% would be considered reasonable, and 3% may be unreasonable. Representative or Independent Representative - Illinois Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS § 5/1. As with attorney fees, the bar-mandated fee schedule used to provide that representatives were paid a percentage of the value of the estate, usually two to five percent, for acting as representative. See Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 755 §5-27-1 for rules concerning executors, and IL Rule 1.5(a) for the potentially relevant guidance concerning lawyers acting as executors. . Quite often the Illinois probate attorneys we suggest will only require clients to pay upfront the court costs and will wait until the probate estate is officially closed before they take a fee. Typically, the violation(s) by the Executor must be fairly egregious, as the Probate court will usually give the benefit of the doubt to the appointed Executor. Illinois law provides for "reasonable" compensation for the work your executor must perform in administering your estate. The information on this website is for general purposes only and should not be interpreted to indicate a certain result will occur in your specific legal situation. To open a probate case in Illinois, the will and a number of necessary documents must be filed with the court. I am aware of at least one court case in which a $50 an hour fee was approved by the court. Who Pays the Cost for the Attorney Fees & the Executor of Probate? The law recognizes that the work of an executor or administrator is significant, and the law in Illinois establishes that an executor or administrator should be paid a “reasonable” fee for doing the work. Article I - General Provisions; Article II - Descent And Distribution The type of compensation can vary from state to state, with percentage fees, flat fees, and hourly rates being the … A second fee arrangement is a contingency fee arrangement. IL First District Appeals Court: In Re: Estate of Timothy Breen. Illinois courts have determined that charging fees based upon a percentage is not legally authorized by the statute. Illinois courts have determined that charging fees based upon a percentage is … In Illinois, hourly fees for executors' work are customary. The Illinois State Bar Association (“ISBA”) has issued an advisory opinion that attorneys representing clients in probate cases cannot ethically collect fees in excess of the amount determined to be reasonable by the court. In Illinois, we don’t have the luxury of using a percentage as a guideline. Holding a bachelor's degree from Yale, Streissguth has published more than 100 works of history, biography, current affairs and geography for young readers. The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Gottlieb, LLC, represents independent and supervised executors and administrators for decedent’s probate estates in Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, DuPage County and McHenry County. In 2011, in the important case of In Re: Estate of Weeks, the Illinois Appeals Court ruled that the state has no legal authority for an executor charging a percentage fee. According to the Illinois Probate Act, on the petition of any interested party to the estate, the Probate court can remove an Executor for failing to properly administer the estate (755 ILCS 5/23-2). The requirement for verification means that the Executor or Administrator must sign the inventory before it is filed with the Court. If the heirs or an executor hires an attorney for consultation and representation in a probate matter, however, the attorney has the right to charge his customary hourly rate, which can be paid out of estate assets. 6-3) Sec. Quite often the Illinois probate attorneys we suggest will only require clients to pay upfront the court costs and will wait until the probate estate is officially closed before they take a fee. Aurora, IL 60506 If you’d like a bit more (free) help understanding the estate settlement process, you can answer a few simple questions and get a free custom executor plan here on Executor.org.. And, here are the executor fees by state, so you know how much compensation is reasonable. For some, it is a sliding scale, taking into account complexities and unique circumstances. Section 27-1 of the Probate Act provides that “[a] representative is entitled to reasonable compensation for his services . Generally, the executor will have to prove the number of hours worked on the estate matters and usually the customary hourly rate is between $20-$40 per hour (depending on complexity and experience of executor). 111 Flinn St. This includes both an executornamed under the terms of a Will and an administrator in the case of a decedent who dies intestate. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. It says only that the fee must be “reasonable” without providing any additional guidance. Those factors can include the amount of time spent by the executor or administrator, the complexity of the issues involved, and the circumstances of the estate, among other things. Visit us at www.batavialaw.com to learn about the other things we do. Illinois Compiled Statutes Table of Contents. It says only that the fee must be “reasonable” without providing any additional guidance. In that way, obtaining agreement from the beneficiaries of the estate is a good litmus test for reasonableness. Free estate calculator automatically determines executor fees and compensation for a given state. Required fields are marked *. On the upside, there is some assurance that the fees that are charged in probate estates are, at least, reasonable in light of the actual value of the work that is done. The rightful beneficiaries are the heirs of the decedent (if there is no will) or the legatees of the decedent (if there is a will). Rates might vary from $10 an hour up to $50 an hour or more. All rights reserved. This isn’t all legal fees, most representatives (administrator or executor) are entitled to an hourly fee, and there are also court costs, publishing fees and fees to other professionals (notably accountants). The estate will be settled in chicago, Illinois. As a practical matter, however, its always best to try to reach agreement with the beneficiaries of the estate. The Illinois Probate Act is very vague. Probate is the process of handling the estate of someone who has died. Article I - General Provisions; Article II - Descent And Distribution Duty of executor to present will for probate.) Even a small estate in Illinois will cost in the neighborhood of $4,000, which consists of attorneys’ fees, executor’s fees, and legal costs. When people die leaving debts, other obligations and property and funds to be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries, the default mechanism for handling those things is called probate. Section 27-1 of the Probate Act provides that “[a] representative is entitled to reasonable compensation for his services . B. Whether or not a will appoints an executor, Illinois law provides for reasonable compensation for these services at an hourly rate, not based on a set percentage of the estate's assets. Thus, the Executor or Administrator essentially “steps into the shoes” of the deceased person to … This site is maintained for the Illinois General Assembly by the Legislative Information System, 705 Stratton Building, Springfield, Illinois 62706 217-782-3944 217-782-2050 (TTY) The executor must identify and locate all of the assets, determine all of the debts, liabilities and obligations and identify the rightful beneficiaries of the estate. On the downside, it is more difficult determining the fee and getting it approved. The information on this website is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Illinois Probate Act is very vague. As with many things in the law, the answer to the question is not simple or straight forward. Executors must submit the amount of their requested fees to the probate court for approval. The Illinois Probate Act is very vague. At the hearing, the court will either appoint an executor or administrator to administer the estate, and admit the will or Probate. Executors may charge higher hourly fees for more complex and time-consuming work on large estates; an authoritative case decided in the Illinois First District Appeals Court in 2011 found $50 to be a reasonable hourly rate. To learn more about executor fees, contact a Chicago executor fees lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. I have been named as executor in a will for an Illinois decedent, but I am not a resident of Illinois. p. (630) 406-5440 Typically, the probate court will find executor fees reasonable if it aligns with what people have received in the past as compensation in that area. The name and place of decedent’s residence at the time of his or her death; 2. Some people may be very efficient, and some may be very inefficient, but time is probably the best measure of value, together with the degree of complexity and particular circumstances of the estate. A second fee arrangement is a contingency fee arrangement. Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/6-14: Power of Executor Before Issuance of Letters Even though a decedent may name someone in his (or her) will to serve as executor of his estate , the named individual does not have legal authority to act as executor until the Illinois Probate Court has formally appointed him and issued him letters testamentary. An executor in Illinois handles the estate of a deceased person according to the instructions in a will. The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois. So where does that leave us? Read More: What Are the Duties of an Executor of a Will in Illinois? Executors must submit the amount of their requested fees to the probate court for approval. An estate accounting starts with the balance in the estate's operating account and itemized the withdrawals and deposits made into the operating account. executor fees. The executor also must pay bills related to estate administration such as attorney’s fees, accounting fees, and other expenses. Probate administrators, will executors, personal representatives who happen to be interested in negotiating executor fees with family members, friends, heirs, and/or beneficiaries must make sure that the probate fees are reasonable for the workload involved, have written consent and approval, along with the will executor commission amount requested is approved by the local probate courts. For more articles on estate planning topics, see the Fox Valley Estate Planning Blog. For articles related to family law matters, visit Drendel & Jansons Family Law Blog. For additional articles on various topics of law, visit the general Drendel & Jansons Law Group Blog. For various legal resources, visit the Drendel & Jansons Resource Page. Once the paperwork is filed, an initial hearing date will be scheduled. If the heirs or creditors challenge the will or any other aspect of the probate, the executor will also have to file responses and appear at a court hearing, if required. Again, there are no hard and fast rules of thumb. Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch: You're Named Executor: Now What? If you need more help deciding if you should accept compensation for serving as executor, read this guide.. What Monetary Percentage Does an Executor of a Will Get? Contact us by e-mail or call us at (847) 991-2250 to discuss your probate matter. ... Who may act as executor: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/6-13; The Illinois Probate Act at 755 ILCS 5/1-2.15 defines a “Representative” as follows: “Representative includes executor, administrator, administrator to collect, standby guardian, guardian and temporary guardian.” An individual need not live in Illinois to serve as executor or administrator of an Illinois probate estate. To make all this a little more concrete, an IL estate worth $500K that required 700 hours of effort might generate $19K in executor fees (see calculator below). While actual calculations are more complex, examples include 5% of amounts received or paid out in cash for Texas estates, or 4% of gross value for CA estates worth <$100K. If the heirs think the fee the executor is charging is excessive, they have the right to object; the court then schedules a hearing on the matter and the judge makes the final determination. If formal probate is not required, the legal fee can be under $1,000.00. In Illinois, hourly fees for executors' work are customary. Therefore, executors are bound only to charge ordinary and reasonable fees, based on a variety of factors. The time by itself, absent any other considerations, cannot be considered alone. For the most part, however, a single hourly rate is usually determined that is thought to be commensurate with the value of the work that is done. Executors for IL estates are entitled to reasonable compensation, typically based on effort and/or estate size. If all parties agree on the fees, there is no litigation on the matter. That money will eventually be reimbursed from the estate so long as it is solvent. Illinois courts have indicated that fees should be determined based on a number of factors. The probate process is fairly long and involved. Most probate matters are straight forward without thousands of dollars for attorney’s fees. Illinois Probate FAQ 1. What is a resonable fee for executor duties of an estate? This site is maintained for the Illinois General Assembly by the Legislative Information System, 705 Stratton Building, Springfield, Illinois 62706 (a) Within 30 days after a person acquires knowledge that he is named as executor of the will of a deceased person, he shall either institute a proceeding to have the will admitted to probate in the court of the proper county or declare his refusal to act as executor. In other states, reasonable fees for probate work can run from 1 to 5 percent of the estate's value. The Committee does not discuss the differences in the Probate Act provisions between attorney and executor fees. In most cases, the attorney's fee can be taken out of the estate before distributions are made to beneficiaries. . May I still serve as executor? The question I get asked all the time is: What is a reasonable fee? Small estates can present very complex and unusual circumstances that require a great deal of effort and time. Of course, we also need to consider the hourly rate. According to the Illinois Probate Act, the petition must be filed with the court in the proper county and must state: 1. The more complex and difficult the work, the higher a reasonable rate can be; some states set out specific guidelines on the maximum percentage fees executors can charge the estate. f. (630) 406-6179, 2000 W. Galena Blvd. The Illinois Probate Act of 1975 states that executors shall be paid a reasonable compensation, however, it does not define what “reasonable” entails. Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B., MBA. Executor fees can vary significantly, and are dependent on both state law and the decisions of the probate court. The reasonableness of the hourly rate will depend upon the relevant factors, including the education, experience, skill and expertise of the executor or administrator, the complexity of the issues that were handled and other factors. Though the fees are paid by the estate itself, the family typically must advance around $2,000.00 to get the process started. Hourly fees Many probate attorneys charge hourly. In Illinois, attorneys receive an hourly fee, not a percentage of the estate. The Illinois code does allow for the executor to be paid for their role in the administration of the estate. Some family members and I have been asked to all agree on an amount for the executor and don't know where to start. Your email address will not be published. The executor is the individual nominated in a person's will to oversee the affairs of the will writer's estate when she dies. The executor must also inventory the assets of the estate, pay the personal debts of the deceased out of these assets, file a final tax return, transfer assets to the heirs, and provide a regular accounting of the estate administration to the court. The Illinois Probate Act of 1975 provides that executors shall be paid reasonable compensation from the estate for their work, without defining what is "reasonable." Opening Probate The executor must file the original will with the probate court within 30 days of the decedent's death, along with a certified copy of the death certificate, and file a petition to open probate. 2016 Illinois Compiled Statutes Chapter 755 - ESTATES 755 ILCS 5/ - Probate Act of 1975. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Act, except as otherwise provided in this Act. As the fees must be submitted to the probate court for approval, the beneficiaries have a right to object to those fees to the court. If only it were that simple. If you want help or advice regarding a specific matter, CONTACT US. It does not depend on whether or not there is a valid will. The date and place of the decedent’s death; 3. The executor must mail out notices and publish notice in the newspaper, file documentation with the court, secure, preserve and maintain the property of the estate, liquidate assets that need to be liquidated and prepare an inventory and an accounting of everything that the executor does. I heard between 2% and 5% depending on the size of the estate. The bottom line: If probate is required, the cost of probate in Illinois is typically $4,000.00 to $6,000.00 in a relatively simple estate with no disputes and a competent executor or administrator. This includes paying all of the debts and final bills, satisfying any lingering obligations, and identifying the property and other assets of the decedent so that the net assets can be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. (Source: P.A. According to the Illinois Probate Act, on the petition of any interested party to the estate, the Probate court can remove an Executor for failing to properly administer the estate (755 ILCS 5/23-2). To open a probate case in Illinois, the will and a number of necessary documents must be filed with the court. Once the paperwork is filed, an initial hearing date will be scheduled. They aren’t required to charge a fee, which may be the case if they are also an heir. The executor of an estate has a variety of duties to accomplish according to state laws on estates and probate proceedings. For example, an Illinois estate worth $500K that required 700 hours of effort might generate $19K in executor fees: see EstateExec calculator. We do not do everything, but we have a large network of trusted professionals who we work with. In Illinois, we don’t have the luxury of using a percentage as a guideline. Pay taxes. But a dispute over fees can lengthen a probate case considerably, and if the court rules in favor of the executor in the case, the heirs may be obligated to pay additional fees and costs. In 2011, in the important case of In Re: Estate of Weeks, the Illinois Appeals Court ruled that the state has no legal authority for an executor charging a percentage fee. 82-783.) What Are the Duties of an Executor of a Will in Illinois? Illinois courts have determined that charging fees based upon a percentage is … If there is no will, the probate court will appoint an administrator to pay the outstanding debts and transfer the remaining assets to the legal heirs. Whether or not a formal probate proceeding is required depends on what assets the deceased person owned and how he or she held title to them. For even the simplest of small estates, there are certain minimum things that must be done, no different than larger estates. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn or Pinterest and get regular updates when they are posted. The person who handles these things is called the executor (if there is a will) or the administrator (if there is no will). Many states have laws that establish fees for executors and administrators based upon a percentage of the value of the estate. Visit us at www.batavialaw.com to learn about the other things we do. Batavia, IL 60510 In Illinois, an executor must file the will with the probate court within 30 days of the death of the testator, the person who wrote the will. Illinois General Assembly: Illinois Compiled Statutes: Estates, IL Fourth District Appeals Court: In Re: Estate of Weeks. At the hearing, the court will either appoint an executor or administrator to administer the estate, and admit the will or Probate. Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images. Here is one common scenario: An attorney is hired to represent the executor of an estate in probate court. p. (630) 897-5957. Therefore, Illinois courts have said that reasonableness cannot be determined by applying a percentage. The handling of a probate administration can take nine months or more. Is a certain percentage appropriate? Attorneys who work solely as executors may charge executor fees, not their customary hourly legal billing rates. If you’d like a bit more (free) help understanding the estate settlement process, you can answer a few simple questions and get a free custom executor plan here on Executor.org.. And, here are the executor fees by state, so you know how much compensation is reasonable. Typically, the probate court will find executor fees reasonable if it aligns with what people have received in the past as compensation in that area. It will consider the hours involved, the size of the estate, and any unique circumstances. Once an Executor or Administrator is appointed by the Probate court, he/she is empowered under Illinois law to act as the official representative of the estate. Most probate matters are straight forward without thousands of dollars for attorney’s fees. If there is a will, it will authorize the executor to do this. 110 1/2, par. REPRESENTATIVE FEES. FEES IN PROBATE – Part 3. The Illinois Probate Act is very vague. Divorce Proceedings in Illinois: What You Need to Know (Quick Prep), For more articles on estate planning topics, see the, How to Handle Gifts or Loans to Children in a Will or Trust, The Difference Between Irrevocable Trusts and Revocable Trusts, The New Illinois Trust Code – Accounting, The Dangerous Rocks under the Waters of Joint Bank Accounts, Getting the Pieces of Your Estate Planning in Place. . Specific information about the attorneys in the Drendel & Jansons Law Group can be obtained on the individual attorney pages. Suite 204 Executor and do n't know where to start not do everything, but I am aware of least... Of Stephen Bilkis & Associates Building, Springfield, Illinois to start Group Media, all Rights Reserved about! Has died law, the reasonableness of the probate Act, except as otherwise provided in Act! Illinois to serve as executor, read this guide take nine months or more, contact a executor! Paid for their role in the law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates amount... Under $ 1,000.00 Assembly by the court ; article II - Descent and Distribution probate. And a number of necessary documents must be done, no different than larger estates hours,... Have determined that charging fees based upon a percentage of the estate of course, we need. Of dollars for attorney ’ s fees state law and the decisions of estate., it is a valid will compensation for her services ) 897-5957 in. Reasonable compensation for serving as executor, read this guide some, it is a resonable fee for duties! Valid will www.batavialaw.com to learn about the other things we do case of a decedent who dies.. Many states agree that the executor of probate for his services trusted professionals who work... 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