Can an Executor of an Estate Spend Any Money From the Estate?

By Beverly Bird

Executors are allowed to spend estate money as they guide the estate through probate – they just can't spend it on themselves. Probate can be an expensive process, and your executor does not have to pay the costs herself. But if she does occasionally use her own money on behalf of the estate, she's entitled to reimbursement. But it's best to check with an attorney first to make sure she's taking money in the proper way.

Allowable Expenditures

Your executor is permitted to make expenditures from estate money to cover payment of debts you leave behind, taxes that are due, and the costs of operating your estate. This includes anything from a few dollars spent on postage to hiring an appraiser to value your assets. Your executor can pay your funeral expenses, and she'll probably have to keep current with insurance premiums for policies that cover your major assets. In most states, she must give an accounting to the court of all expenditures at the time she closes the estate.

Executor's Compensation

Probate can be a time-consuming and somewhat difficult job, so executors are typically entitled to compensation for their services. Many states' laws detail exactly how much an executor is entitled to receive. For example, in New Jersey, she gets a commission based on the value of your estate. Executors are typically paid when the estate closes, and the transaction must be approved by the court. Your executor can't arbitrarily take compensation from the estate whenever she likes.

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Can the Executor of a Will Spend the Money Any Way He Wants?

When someone dies and leaves a will, the will instructs how the deceased's property should be distributed. Likely, it will name the individual responsible for managing the estate, the estate’s personal representative, or executor. The executor has a duty to prudently manage the estate so that debts are paid and each beneficiary receives his due distribution.

How Much Can an Executor Charge for Services in Ohio?

When you die, someone must carry out the task of collecting and distributing your property. The process is known as probate, and the person you name in your will to be in charge of administering probate is known as the executor. Although the amount of work involved in a probate proceeding can vary, executors in Ohio are entitled to compensation from your estate for their services, and this compensation is based on the total value of your property.

Can an Executor Charge a Beneficiary for Duties?

The executor of an estate is normally named in a valid will, appointed by the overseeing probate court, and is generally a family member or friend of the deceased. A lawyer or other professional can also be named as an executor. An executor is responsible for paying the deceased’s debts and distributing the estate assets in the manner described in the will. He may also need to hire others, such as appraisers, to help him value or sell assets in the estate. These services are also paid for by the estate. An executor can be paid for his services, but he is not compensated directly by the beneficiaries. The estate pays for the executor’s services, which diminishes the amount of assets the beneficiaries get.

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