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  1. #1
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    estate attorney question

    Anybody ever been an executor of an estate with a dysfunctional family? I am just curious if there is anything that can be done to keep the executor from getting paid.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by 19210 View Post
    Anybody ever been an executor of an estate with a dysfunctional family? I am just curious if there is anything that can be done to keep the executor from getting paid.
    I would strongly suggest getting some legal advice from a lawyer not involved in setting up the estate; just to get second opinion. From my very limited knowledge, you will need to go through the court system to have any facet of the original agreement amended I believe.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Not much you can do about the payday for the executor. They get 10% of the estate (this is standard) before anything else is settled.

    You need to decide if this is unacceptable because there isn't much you can do. If you think you have a really good argument, find a family lawyer and do a consult. It'll cost you 40-80 bucks and they'll give you peace of mind one way or another.

    If you are simply worried about their ability to handle their responsibilities, demand that a family lawyer be consulted to guide them in what needs to be done. A good family lawyer will help prioritize, simplify, and make it so that nobody is happy (which means it is probably the closest thing to fair).

    Good luck to you, and I encourage you to get actual legal advice.


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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by KneeGusto View Post
    Not much you can do about the payday for the executor. They get 10% of the estate (this is standard) before anything else is settled.

    You need to decide if this is unacceptable because there isn't much you can do. If you think you have a really good argument, find a family lawyer and do a consult. It'll cost you 40-80 bucks and they'll give you peace of mind one way or another.

    If you are simply worried about their ability to handle their responsibilities, demand that a family lawyer be consulted to guide them in what needs to be done. A good family lawyer will help prioritize, simplify, and make it so that nobody is happy (which means it is probably the closest thing to fair).
    This could not be more wrong.

    Any fee for the Executor is subject to court approval and in the discretion of the judge, who as wide discretion. They'll take a look at the work the Executor actually did vs. outsourcing to 3rd parties (did they sell the house their own vs. using a realtor, etc), the size of the estate and generally how much time was spent.

    There is a statutory maximum that both the Executor and attorney for the estate is subject to that is a long formula that equals slightly more than 2% each. They can go over that limit by making a separate application to the court citing "extraordinary" work but any fee (extraordinary or not) is subject to court approval and disclosure to the beneficiaries. Unless the estate was unusually small, "extraordinary work" would generally involve prosecuting or defending a lawsuit. I have never, ever seen an Executor get 10% as their fee (there is no limit to the amount of their inheritance as stated under the will). Again, the judge has wide discretion.

    If you're the executor of the estate getting your fee challenged, keep a detailed record of just how much time and effort you've had to put into getting the estate wrapped up and any areas where you saved the Estate money. It is definitely work and unless the Executor out and out stole from the Estate or really unjustifiably cost the Estate some money by their actions, they are definitely going to be entitled to something.

    If you're trying to challenge the Executor, you may want to consider asking the court for their removal and appointment of a successor Executor which likely may need to be a bank or other neutral (who will most certainly charge). I would imagine the reasons why an Executor is not entitled to a fee would most likely match why they should not be allowed to stay on as Executor.

    You should contact an attorney with any questions, but anything more than a basic initial consultation will not be near $40-80.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    I believe the executor fee and the attorney fee are both 2% of the estate - at least that's what it was when I was an executor. I think there is a sliding scale that goes above 2% for smaller estates.
    I know that you can negotiate the attorney's fees below 2% prior to them starting on the estate. I think the executor's fee is set by state law, although an executor can waive or reduce the fee.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Just curious why you don't want the executor to be paid? I've had to deal with dysfunctional families in my line of work and no way I would do it without being paid. Lot of sweat, blood, and tears involved with those....



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Estates are a very touchy thing to deal witg. One would hope a family could all be civil and have things go smoothly but thats not the case sometimes. Our family dealt with type of issue when our grandparents died. My uncles were executors and they turned into complete dicks and wanted everything to themselves. Hopefully everything goes as well as it can for you.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott34 View Post
    Estates are a very touchy thing to deal witg. One would hope a family could all be civil and have things go smoothly but thats not the case sometimes. Our family dealt with type of issue when our grandparents died. My uncles were executors and they turned into complete dicks and wanted everything to themselves. Hopefully everything goes as well as it can for you.

    Hence, dysfuntional family... call lawyer on speed-dial !



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by 19210 View Post
    Anybody ever been an executor of an estate with a dysfunctional family?

    19210 = Tito Jackson?



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    19210 = Tito Jackson?
    911= Tito and the rest of the clan.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobber View Post
    Just curious why you don't want the executor to be paid? I've had to deal with dysfunctional families in my line of work and no way I would do it without being paid. Lot of sweat, blood, and tears involved with those....
    I am the executor and my step mom is trying to hold up the estate because she doesnt want me to get anything. Ive agreed to her getting spousal allowance and i've paid off her house and loans she forged my dads name on without questioning it. She just wants all of the money. If she wasn't involved I wouldn't even care about getting paid. Just tired of her.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    I stand corrected, but I still believe in getting legal advice.

    Stuff can be complicated.


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    Re:estate attorney question

    Speaking from experience....in a typical estate the executor is way underpaid. The wife and I spent a year cleaning out her Mom's house and dealing with the state because her Dad died on Title 19. Unless you're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars it isn't a profitable venture.



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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by LawyerClone View Post
    This could not be more wrong.
    This is one of those phrases that itself "could not be more wrong".

    Let's say we advise the OP to consult a chiropractor instead of a lawyer. Even that would not rank as "could not be more wrong". After all, we could ask the OP to consult a kangaroo at the zoo or something...

    You have some very heated words for a first post on this board (Welcome to CycloneFanatic by the way!). I can tell you have strong opinions and seem to have some data that doesn't jive with experiences that myself, my family, and others have had with settling estates.

    Care to share? I would be interested in hearing your experiences... both the good and the bad when dealing with executors and family. I think the OP would also like to hear your stories. We've established that the numbers can be different

    You have very strong opinions but I still believe that getting a consult with a family lawyer is a solid option. You said that it would be expensive but I still maintain the $40 to at least pursue the option is well worth it and "not be more wrong".

    The cost of good advice from a real family lawyer should not be a deterrent - it should allow the family to be assured that what needs to be done is done. It is obvious (or at least I hoped it was) that if you need to take further legal action it would cost you more. I apologize if anyone thought my post inferred lawyer fees were free.

    I also look forward to your opinions on other subjects in the future. Basketball recruiting, Football play calling, Wrestling matches and whatnot.

    Welcome to the board, LawyerClone!


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    Re: estate attorney question

    Quote Originally Posted by KneeGusto View Post
    This is one of those phrases that itself "could not be more wrong".

    Let's say we advise the OP to consult a chiropractor instead of a lawyer. Even that would not rank as "could not be more wrong". After all, we could ask the OP to consult a kangaroo at the zoo or something...

    You have some very heated words for a first post on this board (Welcome to CycloneFanatic by the way!). I can tell you have strong opinions and seem to have some data that doesn't jive with experiences that myself, my family, and others have had with settling estates.

    Care to share? I would be interested in hearing your experiences... both the good and the bad when dealing with executors and family. I think the OP would also like to hear your stories. We've established that the numbers can be different

    You have very strong opinions but I still believe that getting a consult with a family lawyer is a solid option. You said that it would be expensive but I still maintain the $40 to at least pursue the option is well worth it and "not be more wrong".

    The cost of good advice from a real family lawyer should not be a deterrent - it should allow the family to be assured that what needs to be done is done. It is obvious (or at least I hoped it was) that if you need to take further legal action it would cost you more. I apologize if anyone thought my post inferred lawyer fees were free.

    I also look forward to your opinions on other subjects in the future. Basketball recruiting, Football play calling, Wrestling matches and whatnot.

    Welcome to the board, LawyerClone!
    what LawyerClone provided was an accurate summary of Iowa law on the issues raised. How do I know? I AM an attorney that practices primarily in the probate and estate planning areas.

    What the hell is YOUR "learned advice" based upon?

    Also, I did not see that LawyerClone was telling anyone not to seek a lawyer's advice. He/she was merely questioning your proposition that $40-$80 was a normal fee for discussing an issue like this.


    Last edited by CloneLawman; 07-29-2012 at 08:33 AM.

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