Remuneration of the personal representative is based on the gross aggregate value of the estate, including capital and income, and also provides for an annual care and management fee.
The annual care and management fee is available in the absence of remuneration provisions in the will or a death without a will.
If the will outlines a remuneration scheme to which the personal representative is entitled, then the scheme in the will governs.
If the will gives something to the personal representative as a beneficiary, then that gift may be presumed to be in lieu of remuneration, unless the will specifically says that the personal representative may be compensated by both the gift and remuneration.
If the will provides for remuneration, the amount will be limited to the amount specified in the will.
If the amount is not specified in the will, s.88 of the Trustee Act sets out an upper limit for the amount of remuneration.
The upper limit is:
- 5% of the gross aggregate value of the capital of the estate;
- 5% of the income earned during the administration; and
- An annual “care and management fee” of 0.4% of the average market value of the assets
These figures are maximums, personal representatives are commonly entitled to 3% of the income and capital of the estate, as well as the care and management fee.
A court of registrar determines the actual amount based on:
- The magnitude of the estate;
- The care and responsibility involved;
- The time occupied in the administration;
- The skill and ability displayed; and
- The success achieved in the final result