When you are named as the personal representative of an estate after the death of a loved one, you may be overwhelmed and unsure where to start. The Florida probate lawyers of Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Greene & Buchsbaum, P.A. can answer your questions and guide you through the process of handling your loved one’s estate. In addition, we can ensure that you receive financial compensation for completing the extensive duties often required as an estate’s personal representative.
An individual typically takes on the role of an estate’s personal representative so they can carry out the last wishes of their deceased loved one. However, the administrative responsibilities of acting as a personal representative for an estate can be very time-consuming and constitute a significant commitment for a substantial period. As a result, Florida law allows personal representatives to receive compensation for their efforts.
General Rules for Compensation for a Personal Representative
As a personal representative, your compensation generally is based on statutory guidelines. However, if you have performed more work or the estate has been extraordinarily complex, you can petition the court to receive additional compensation. The court will consider the circumstances, the complexity of the estate and your duties, and how efficiently you handled your duties as a personal representative.
You are entitled to recoup any out-of-pocket expenses incurred in your duties as a personal representative. For instance, if you paid funeral costs (subject to limitations) or had mileage or transportation fees in completing your duties, you can have the estate reimburse you for those costs.
You have the right to be paid as a personal representative before other creditors. State law determines the order in which an estate much pay certain fees and debts. The compensation of a personal representative is in the first tier of fees to be paid. As a result, a personal representative will receive payment of their compensation before any other creditors receive payment of debts they are owed.
Statutory Compensation for a Personal Representative
Under Florida Statutes § 733.617, personal representatives are entitled to a commission based on the estate’s compensable value, which is equivalent to the value of all probate estate assets and interest earned on those assets during the estate administration process. The estate does not include assets that pass outside the estate, such as life insurance proceeds, retirement account proceeds, or jointly owned property or accounts. The compensation is calculated as follows:
- 3 percent for the first $1 million
- 5 percent for all above $1 million up to $5 million
- 2 percent for all above $5 million up to $10 million
- 5 percent for all above $10 million
A personal representative also is eligible to receive further compensation for performing extraordinary services, including, but not limited to:
- Selling real or personal property;
- Conducting litigation on behalf of or against the estate;
- Handling proceedings for the adjustment or payment of any taxes;
- Carrying on of the decedent’s business;
- Dealing with the protected homestead; and
- Performing any other special services as needed.
Contact Kramer Green for Assistance with Your Probate Matter
The Florida probate attorneys of Kramer, Green, Zuckerman, Greene & Buchsbaum, P.A. are ready to help you and your family through every step of the probate administration process. We know how to handle these proceedings to make them as efficient, simple, and straightforward as possible to help you carry out your duties as a personal representative.
Our objective is to guide you through the complex legal matters that an estate administration can involve, step by step, while you and your family focus on dealing with the loss of your loved one. Contact our office today at (954) 966-2112 or reach out to us online to schedule a time to discuss your legal estate issues with our attorneys.