If you've been appointed to serve as the Personal Representative of an estate in the state of Florida, then you can be compensated for the services you provide on behalf of the estate, regardless of the wishes of the beneficiaries of the estate.
For his or her services, a personal representative of an estate is entitled to compensation from the estate assets, without a court order. Florida Statute §733.617 provides the general rule in Florida for the commission of a personal representative. The Statute provides that the commission will be presumed reasonable for ordinary services provided by the personal representative. The commission is based on the value of the estate, which includes the inventory value of the probate estate assets and any income earned by those assets during administration. The commission is calculated as follows: 3% for the first $1 million, 2.5% above $1 million and not exceeding $5 million, 2% above $5 million and not exceeding $10 million, and 1.5% for all above $10 million.
If an estate where decedent was domiciled is valued at $20 million dollars, the personal representative is entitled to 3 percent of the first $1 million dollars or $30,000. For the amount between $1 million and $5 million dollars, the personal representative is entitled to 2.5 percent or $100,000. For the amount between $5 million and $10 million dollars, the personal representative is entitled to 2 percent or $100,000. And for the amount above $10 million and up to our $20 million dollar estate, the personal representative is entitled to 1.5 percent or $150,000. Thus, for an estate worth $20 million dollars, the personal representative is entitled to $380,000 in commissions.
In addition to this commission, a personal representative is allowed additional reasonable compensation for extraordinary services including sales of real or personal property, conducting litigation for or against the estate, any involvement in court or IRS proceedings, running the decedent’s prior business and issues with protected homestead such as with a home.
If the compensation of a personal representative set forth in a will is different than the compensation set forth in the above referenced statute, the personal representative can choose between that as listed in the will or follow Florida Statutes. The personal representative will likely take the higher of the two compensation schemes. The personal representative also has the option of receiving some or none of the compensation of which they are entitled.
If you have an estate worth at least $100,000 and there are two personal representatives, each personal representative can take the full commission that a sole personal representative would take. However, if there are three or more personal representatives for the estate then all personal representatives must apportion among themselves the compensation that two personal representatives would be entitled to. If the estate is less than $100,000, then one commission must be apportioned among all the personal representatives.
Often times a Personal Representative may be overwhelmed by the prospect of serving as a personal representative and may choose to have their attorney serve as the personal representative as well.
What if the appointed personal representative is also a lawyer and has rendered legal services. Under Florida law, an attorney shall receive a fee for their legal services in addition to a full fee as personal representative.
For more information on estates and probate in Florida, please visit www.FloridaProbateandYou.com
Mike Sikorski MBA CRB GRI CRS
Licensed Real Estate Broker
Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist
Certified Probate Expert
The information provided in this article is for information and educational purposes so that you have an understanding about the probate process in Florida. This information is not to be construed as legal advice. Only a licensed attorney can give you legal advice, and it is highly recommended to seek the advice of an experienced and qualified attorney to answer your legal questions.