By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

Executors (personal representatives) and trustees (who manage trusts) are entitled to fees, called commissions. Unless the will or trust provides for a specific arrangement, or there is a side contract with the executor or trustee, then state law rules will apply to determine the commissions to be paid. These commissions can be based on the value of assets transferred to or held in a trust or estate, on the income earned by the trust, or the fact that a trust or estate was funded (assets transferred to it) or terminated. In some instances special or additional commissions may be able to be obtained (often this will require court action) for providing special or unusual services.

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