Making a will is an important part of the process of ensuring that your estate is managed properly after you pass away. In New York, the Surrogate Court will appoint an estate administrator if you do not leave a will. This person, known as the executor, is responsible for managing the estate and distributing assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. The process of managing an estate can be complex and time-consuming, and executors are entitled to receive a reasonable fee for their work under the New York Estates, Powers & Enforcers of the Trust Act.
The amount of money that an executor can receive depends on several factors. Corporate executors may be paid according to the fees mentioned in the will or according to their published fee schedule. The Surrogate Court also has a variable filing fee schedule based on the size of the estate. If there are major complications or litigation involved, additional time and resources may be required, which can increase the cost of probate.
The fees charged by a probate attorney depend on the agreement between them and their client. It can be an hourly rate or a percentage of the estate's value. If there is litigation or a challenge to the will, it is impossible to set a fixed fee for legal representation. The more times lawyers go to court or file a motion, the more money they earn and the less money left for the parties in the end.
The cost of closing an estate also varies depending on how many beneficiaries are involved. It can be difficult to find information about probate attorney fees online, but it is important to understand what you may be charged before hiring one.