As a beneficiary of a recently opened Maryland estate, there’s no doubt that you will have questions about the important role that a personal representative plays in closing out the estate and getting paid for his or her time. These fees are in addition to fees to close out the estate in MD.
Everyone who serves in this roll will have to keep track of numerous details and keep key stakeholders informed of progress. For this reason, the state recognizes that a personal representative has the right to receive payment for services rendered. However, a personal representative does not have open license to charge whatever they want.
Claims that a personal representative has not acted in the best interests of the beneficiaries can prompt litigation filed by beneficiaries. State law in Maryland outlines a maximum amount of compensation to be received by a Maryland personal representative regardless of whether or not the deceased party’s will also specify a fee. In order to qualify as a Maryland personal representative, the party in question must be of sound mind and age 18 or older.
This personal representative is entitled to a fee for his or her work, and the Estate and Trust Statutes in Maryland, section 7-601 determine the rules for fees. For estates larger than $20,000, the personal representative can claim a fee of 9% of the estate’s value and an additional 3.6% of the value beyond $20,000 as compensation for the services they have provided in settling the estate.
For estates that are smaller than $20,000, only the 9% fee can apply for the personal representative’s role. If you are thinking about who to place in this position of trust, make sure you intended personal representative knows their responsibilities and is prepared to take on this job for the rate of pay likely to apply. Talk to a Maryland estate planning attorney to review your options in full.