In this article we will explain payment of executors and administrators in Illinois probate cases. The executor or administrator of an Illinois probate case are known as the personal representative of the estate. The personal representative of an Illinois probate estate is entitled to receive compensation from the estate for his or her efforts. We will discuss the details of how personal representatives are paid for their work during the probate proceeding in accordance with Illinois law. For some foundational information on the probate process, check out our article, Illinois Probate Explained.
The Illinois Probate Act of 1975 states that executors shall be paid a reasonable compensation, however, it does not define what “reasonable” entails. The type of compensation can vary from state to state, with percentage fees, flat fees, and hourly rates being the most common methods of calculating payment. An hourly rate for the executor’s work is customary in Illinois.
A 2011 case in the Illinois First District Appeals Court found $50 to be considered a reasonable hourly rate. An executor has the right to request a fee of their choosing and must submit that amount to the probate court for approval. If the estate is quite large and complex, requiring more time-consuming work, an executor may charge a higher hourly rate for their work. The court will look at these factors when making its decision on what’s an acceptable fee that the executor can charge the estate. The court must give its approval on the fee that will be paid to the executor.
Disputes over the personal representative’s fees can sometimes arise among the heirs and other legatees, resulting in the probate case being drawn out considerably. If the heirs believe the fees are excessive, they have the right to object. A court hearing will be scheduled and a judge will make the final determination on the executor’s fees.
As a final note, it’s important to remember that an executor or personal representative is compensated from the estate itself, and that the heirs and beneficiaries do not pay him or her for the work he or she has done.