The executor of the will of a New York decedent receives a percentage of the estate's assets. The amount is based on the size of the estate, with higher percentages on lower amounts, so that all executors receive some compensation, and lower percentages for high-value estates. Executor compensation may also be specified in the will. Executors must file the probate petition in the surrogate's court of the county in which the decedent resided.
Under the New York Surrogate Court's Procedure Code, at the time of publication executors may receive compensation of 5 percent on "receiving and paying out" monetary sums under $100,000; 4 percent for sums under $200,000; 3 percent for sums under $700,000; 2.5 percent on sums under $4 million, and 2 percent on any sums under $5 million. Executors may also waive the right to any compensation.
The testator may have specified the amount of executor compensation in the will. This may include a fixed fee. If the executor is also an heir or beneficiary of the estate, there are tax advantages for receiving a disposition under the will rather than an executor fee. The Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Department of Revenue consider executor compensation taxable, while a disposition under the will is not.
The testator may also name more than one executor in the will, for the individuals to serve as co-executors of the estate. At the time of publication, if the probate value of the estate is above $300,000, two executors may be paid the full commission provided by law. Should the estate have more than two executors, the commissions must be split the equivalent of the two full permitted commissions. If the testator named more than two executors in the will, he can specify the amount of commission each is eligible to receive, which overrides the state limitation.
If the decedent owned rental property and collecting the rent and property management is part of the executor's fiduciary responsibility to the estate, she is entitled to additional compensation of 5 percent of the rental gross. If there are two or more executors, the commission is divided among them according to any services rendered. Executors may also agree in writing beforehand concerning the apportionment of rental commission received.