Does Alabama Law Allow an Executor's Fee to Be Paid to the Executor?

Full Question:

My father passed away and in his will he put for everything to be divided among my 2 brothers and my sister and me. My oldest brother is executor, he has gotton an attorney to probate the will. The attorney has mailed me, my sister and other brother papers to sign to probate the will, I have no problem in signing the papers nor does my sister but my brother says he is not signing until the executor sings a paper saying that he is not going to ask for ans executor fee. I have read the will and it does not say a fee can be charged my sister says it's a law in alabama. my question is: is it a law and if so if my brother does not sign is there something else we can do to settle the house and bank acct there is not alot of money in either one.
10/23/2010   |   Category: Wills and Es... ยป Will Contests   |   State: Alabama   |   #23466

Answer:

Yes, the law allows an executor’s fee. We are unsure of what he is refusing to sign. Sometimes an executor will ask for a release to be signed but it is not required by law, it is a practice of the law firm. It may be necessary to petition the court to have the executor distribute the estate or settle a contested issue.

Please see the following AL statutes:

§ 43-2-848. Compensation of personal representative.

(a) A personal representative is entitled to reasonable
compensation for services as may appear to the court to be
fair considering such factors that may include, but are not
limited to, the novelty and difficulty of the administrative
process, the skill requisite to perform the service, the
likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment
will preclude other employment, the fee customarily charged
in the locality for similar services, the amount involved and
the results obtained, the requirements imposed by the
circumstances and condition of the estate, the nature and
length of the professional relationship with the decedent,
the experience, reputation, diligence, and ability of the
person performing the services, the liability, financial or
otherwise, of the personal representative, or the risk and
responsibility involved, which shall not exceed two and
one-half percent of the value of all property received and
under the possession and control of the personal
representative and two and one-half percent of all
disbursements.

(b) In addition the court may allow a reasonable
compensation for extraordinary services performed for the
estate.

(c) If a will provides for compensation, or no
compensation, of the personal representative either directly
or conditionally and there is no contract with the decedent
regarding compensation, the personal representative may
renounce the provisions and if no alternate or successor
personal representative is willing to serve for the
compensation provided in the will for the personal
representative, the personal representative in the order of
priority provided in the will shall be entitled to reasonable
compensation. A personal representative also may renounce the
right to all or any part of the compensation. A renunciation
may be filed with the court.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
right of a decedent or all affected beneficiaries to agree in
writing with the personal representative, as to the amount or
the method of determining the personal representative's
compensation, which shall be binding on all parties if the
appointment is accepted and the agreement is not
unconscionable.

§ 43-2-600. When matters of controversy may be referred to arbitration.

On the settlement of the estate of a decedent, when such
estate is free from debt, the probate court in which such
settlement may be pending has authority to refer all matters of
controversy arising in such settlement to arbitration, if, in
the opinion of the court, the interests of the parties can be
best subserved thereby and the parties, or their attorneys,
consent thereto.

§ 43-2-530. Authorization to compel settlement.

Any executor or administrator may be required by citation to
file his accounts and vouchers and to make a settlement,
notwithstanding any provision in any will or other instrument to
the contrary; and, if after service of the citation, he fails to
file his accounts and vouchers for a settlement on the day named
in the citation, the probate court or other court having
jurisdiction of the said estate may compel him to do so by
attachment or may proceed to state the account against him from
the materials on file or such other information as may be
accessible, charging him with such assets as may have come to his
hands.

(Code 1852, § 1817; Code 1867, § 2153; Code 1876, § 2524; Code
1886, § 2155; Code 1896, § 223; Code 1907, § 2686;
Acts 1919, No. 440, p. 566; Code 1923, § 5919; Code 1940, T. 61, § 316.)

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