Can the executor of a will receive remuneration for their work? At common law, an executor could only receive payment for their services if authorized under the will. However, this presumption against payment has been superseded by section 88 of British Columbia’s Trustee Act. Accordingly, executors may receive payment from three sources, including:

  1. up to 5% of the gross aggregate value of the estate’s capital;
  2. up to 5% of the income generated by the estate’s assets during the period of administration; and
  3. 4% of the average market value of the assets per annum as a “care and management fee.”

These percentages are the statutory maximums that a court or registrar may grant to an executor.  When determining the executor’s remuneration, the court or registrar will consider the following five factors:

  1. the estate’s size,
  2. the degree of care and responsibility required,
  3. the amount of time required,
  4. the degree of skill and ability demonstrated, and
  5. the level of success achieved in administering the estate.

Section 88 of the Trustee Act applies whenever the will is silent with regards to the executor’s remuneration. It also applies to the administrators of intestacies (persons managing the assets of a deceased person who died without a will).

However, the Trustee Act’s remuneration percentages can be superseded whenever a will includes a renumeration clause for the executor. This provision can be implied. For example, at common law, there is a presumption that any gift to an executor is intended to be compensation for the person’s services as an executor, in lieu of a fee.