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Estate Fiduciary Compensation

A Pennsylvania estate fiduciary compensation attorney can assist you in understanding who is entitled to recover compensation while serving in the role of fiduciary and what to do if you believe that this person has been unfairly compensated or made mistakes in the administration of estate.

While the fiduciary might choose to refuse funds taken from the estate from serving in this position, no person should count on this. When an estate has a lot of work involved, it’s quite normal for the fiduciary who gathers all the information to be compensated for his or her work.

A fiduciary who puts in a lot of work to close out an estate has a reasonable expectation to get paid for doing so. Most estate plans include provisions through which the fiduciary can receive compensation for his or her role. The only way that another person gets involved in this, usually, is if an interested party believes that the representative has been paying themselves unreasonably out of the estate funds, putting beneficiaries at risk due to dwindling money in the estate.

Allegations of fraud like this should always be taken seriously since a person’s reputation and role as a fiduciary are on the line.

The Orphan's Court in Pennsylvania determines the personal representative's compensation as reasonable and just under the circumstances. If you believe that someone has violated these basic tenets, you need the support of an estate fiduciary compensation attorney in Pennsylvania. An estate fiduciary compensation lawyer in Pennsylvania will explain to you the relevant probate statutes as outlined under 20 Pa. C.S. 3537. A personal representative is eligible to waive compensation but the provisions inside a will outlining compensation could be enforced if the personal representative accepts the appointment with knowledge regarding a fixed amount of compensation. This is outlined in the existing Pennsylvania statutes. In a testate or an intestate estate to determine reasonable compensation, if the will provides for it, many attorneys use percentage guidelines recommended by Pennsylvania case law. The Orphan's Court in Pennsylvania will approve compensation that is typically consistent with the compensation schedule listed in the Johnson's Estate Case, so long as the personal representative has accurately and faithfully completed estate administration. However, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has not held that this estate compensation schedule is applicable in large estates. Bear in mind that every case is reviewed on an individual basis to determine whether or not the compensation is indeed fair and reasonable based on numerous different factors. Any counsel should be involved in looking through the local rules before identifying reasonable fiduciary compensation. Some counties in Pennsylvania, such as Washington County, have established their own guidelines for fiduciary and counsel compensation under a schedule that is different from Johnson's Estate. Fiduciary compensation in any estate administration classified as non-routine will deviate from the guidelines explained in Johnson's Estate, particularly if complex litigation or administration is required.

Administrations that are filled with errors or mismanaged by a personal representative, however, could have compensation reduced. Prudence and good judgement are recommended and any person who is appointed as a personal representative should be prepared to hire an experienced attorney who is highly knowledgeable about the various facets of carrying out probate administration effectively and under the guidelines of the law. If you believe that an error has occurred, and you need to demand that the compensation for a fiduciary be reduced, you should do this as soon as possible by working directly with a lawyer. Do so in a timely fashion to protect your right to file a claim.

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