How are executor fees set? Is it based on all assets?


Q. Does the corpus commission get calculated to include the survivors’ inheritance on the jointly owned assets, like a home or jointly held mutual funds?
— Executor

A. It seems you’re trying to determine how the executor fee, also called the corpus commission, is set.

In New Jersey, the fee is 5% of the first $200,000 of assets taken in by the executor, 3.5% of the next $800,000 of assets and 2% on anything in excess of $1 million.

“Executors and estate administrators are entitled to take corpus commissions on all corpus received by the executor or administrator,” said Shirley Whitenack, an estate planning attorney with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park. “Since jointly held assets usually pass to the survivor by operation of law, they are not received by the executor or administrator and therefore, they are not entitled to receive commissions based on the value of those jointly held assets.”

Good luck to you.

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This story was originally published on June 16, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.