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Need feedback on my executor responsibilities and possibly compensation

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  • Need feedback on my executor responsibilities and possibly compensation

    So my dad passed away a month ago from a 8 year battle with Alzheimers. My brother and sister were completely (as in 100 percent) absentee. They showed up for his funeral, were here for about 48 hours, and then were gone. I watched after him, found him a place to live, moved him, rode herd over the goings on of his care, finding sitters, consulting with care givers, sold his house, his contents, invested to pay for his care, oversaw all of his expenses, paying his income taxes, etc.

    In terms of managing his finances, I sold his house for $120,000, combined that with about $80K that he had in cash, and bought a piece of real estate for $182K. I did all of the hunting, paperwork, etc. This paid him $40,000 net over 2 years in rents - after all expenses - to help build his estate and pay for his care. The real estate is now worth about $230K and we are going to sell it, but that's another + $48,000.

    After he passed away, of course I took care of every last detail of his burial, funeral, cemetery plot, etc. $15,000 out of my pocket that the estate will need to repay me when it's settled. Of course, I will be taking care of all of the probate and settlement stuff while my brother and sister await their payments.

    Now, I am the sole executor, and the total estate is going to be worth in the neighborhood of $300K after all expenses are paid. My question is, is it moral/immoral/ethical/unethical to compensate myself a portion of the estate for the hundreds (thousands?) of hours and expertise that I have put in over the last 8 years to minding, managing, investing, and protecting? I have the ability to do so, but I want some really honest answers on what is RIGHT AND MORAL.

    My brother, who I have seen ONCE here in 10 years, is ALREADY asking about his third. My heart says neither is entitled to a penny because both are scum bags in my honest opinion, but of course my dad would disagree with me and I want to do what is RIGHT.
    Last edited by TexasHusker; 05-03-2019, 09:00 AM.
    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

  • #2
    What does the will or trust say? That is your first guide. Then, what would your dad do? That is your moral compass. I would charge for all of it. Then I would make up a detailed cash flow sheet and show it to your siblings. Let them argue and then do what you know is right. No matter what, you are going to be the bad guy in all of this.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by corn18 View Post
      What does the will or trust say? That is your first guide. Then, what would your dad do? That is your moral compass. I would charge for all of it. Then I would make up a detailed cash flow sheet and show it to your siblings. Let them argue and then do what you know is right. No matter what, you are going to be the bad guy in all of this.
      My dad would give it out one third per sibling no questions asked. The will doesn't address compensation for me, but I could likely get it if I so chose. I did take liberty to divert $5K of his estate to help fund his scholarship before he passed away as POA, which he absolutely would have wanted in my opinion.
      How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

      Comment


      • #4
        When people ask why we only had one child, I point to stories like this.

        I assume your father had a will, so I agree with corn that that should serve as your first guide regarding how the estate is to be distributed.

        As for what you are entitled to as executor, there should be state laws about that. Speak to the attorney who drew up the will (or any attorney in the field) to find out what is appropriate for you to be reimbursed for. I would think you can be repaid for any actual expenditures you made, like funeral costs, but I don't know about paying you for your time.

        Understand that anything you do that results in you getting more than 1/3 of the estate is going to effectively end any relationship you still have with your siblings. It's up to you to decide if that's worth it.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post

          My dad would give it out one third per sibling no questions asked. The will doesn't address compensation for me, but I could likely get it if I so chose. I did take liberty to divert $5K of his estate to help fund his scholarship before he passed away as POA, which he absolutely would have wanted in my opinion.
          Then that is your answer. You don't need the money, so anything other than this would be your judgement cast upon your siblings. If it's any consolation, I agree with your judgement.

          Comment


          • #6
            This may be helpful:
            https://info.legalzoom.com/can-execu...xas-23804.html
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
              My question is, is it moral/immoral/ethical/unethical to compensate myself a portion of the estate for the hundreds (thousands?) of hours and expertise that I have put in over the last 8 years to minding, managing, investing, and protecting?
              To address this specifically, no, I don't think you can pay yourself for things you've done over the past 8 years. You weren't doing those in the capacity as the executor of his estate; you were doing them as his son. I do think you can reimburse yourself for things done as executor, like the funeral and any other reasonable costs that you incur in the course of settling his estate. Your job as executor started the day he died.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


              • #8
                Without getting into a lot of legal debate and other details, I have liberty in this situation to do pretty much what I am inclined to do. The legal issue is moot. I am trying to determine the RIGHT and FAIR thing to do.
                How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                  Without getting into a lot of legal debate and other details, I have liberty in this situation to do pretty much what I am inclined to do. The legal issue is moot. I am trying to determine the RIGHT and FAIR thing to do.
                  Iím not a lawyer but I donít know that thatís true. There are laws about what compensation an executor is entitled to. You cant just disregard them.

                  As for what is fair, Iím willing to bet that your definition of fair will differ from that of your siblings.

                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                    Iím not a lawyer but I donít know that thatís true. There are laws about what compensation an executor is entitled to. You cant just disregard them.

                    As for what is fair, Iím willing to bet that your definition of fair will differ from that of your siblings.
                    Fair is what I am trying to determine. The legal question is moot, without getting into detail. You'll just have to trust me on that part.
                    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think it would be fair for you to be paid for expenses you incurred. Most likely your siblings will disagree and may formally challenge that.

                      You have to decide how far youíre willing to go to defend that position. That could mean anything up to and including never speaking to them again for the remainder of your life.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                        I think it would be fair for you to be paid for expenses you incurred. Most likely your siblings will disagree and may formally challenge that.

                        You have to decide how far youíre willing to go to defend that position. That could mean anything up to and including never speaking to them again for the remainder of your life.
                        Thatís pretty easy - I didnít incur any expenses until yesterday when I paid the funeral home. I'll just give them their full third out of good will and call it a day.
                        Last edited by TexasHusker; 05-03-2019, 11:32 AM.
                        How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post

                          Thatís pretty easy - I didnít incur any expenses until yesterday when I paid the funeral home. I'll just give them their full third out of good will and call it a day.
                          I think it's fine to deduct any actual executorial expenses (is that a word?) like the funeral and any other costs that will be involved in settling the estate (legal fees, broker fees, costs involved in selling off property, etc.) and then split what remains into thirds.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry for your loss.
                            I've been through the same thing with my Mom. Six kids and I was the one that stepped up and did everything for the last 5-6 years of her life, very similar to your situation. I did it because I felt obligated to do so and didn't see any of the others taking any action, it was the right thing to do.

                            In my opinion ....... I would not compensate myself anything extra for the time and effort. You never expected to get paid for it, you did it because it was the right thing to do.
                            Get reimbursed for the funeral and any legal fees that come out of your pocket, then split what's left three ways. I doubt you need the money and you sure as heck don't need any of the BS from siblings that might go along with charging a fee for your efforts. It's just not worth it.

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                            • #15
                              (Total minus funeral cost reimbursement) divided by 3.

                              Round up for the siblings and round down for you if necessary.

                              Sorry for your loss

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