First of all, I should note that Google Answers provides general
information. It is not, and should not be taken as, a substitute for
professional legal advice. No warranties are expressed or implied,
and the information should NOT be relied upon as legal advice. If you
need legal advice, you should contact an Indiana probate lawyer.
Unlike in some states, Indiana's Probate Code does not award the
executor a fixed percentage of the estate. Rather, the executor (also
known as the "personal representative") is entitled whatever
compensation is specified in the decedent's will. If no compensation
is provided in the will, or if the executor renounces all claim to the
compensation provided in the will, the executor is entitled to such
compensation as the court shall deem just and reasonable.
See Indiana Probate Code:
Sec. 13. If a testator by will makes provision for the
compensation of his personal representative, that shall be taken as
his full compensation unless he files in the court a written
instrument renouncing all claims for the compensation provided by the
will before qualifying as personal representative. The personal
representative, when no compensation is provided in the will, or when
he renounces all claim to the compensation provided in the will, shall
be allowed such compensation for his services as the court shall deem
just and reasonable."
Source: Indiana Probate Code:
So what is "reasonable"?
Well, that's up to the probate court to determine. There are statewide
guidelines that apply if a county adopts them (or if the county does
not adopt its own guidelines). If a county adopts DIFFERENT
guidelines, then those other guidelines would apply.
The Indianapolis law firm of Locke Reynolds LLP has a good explanation
of this in "What is Probate? How Long Does it Take? How Much Does it
"The Indiana statewide maximum fee guidelines say that an Executor or
Administrator?s fee should not exceed one-half of the attorney?s fee,
and that the total of the attorney fees and Executor or Administrator
fees should not exceed ten percent of the total date-of-death value of
all probate and non-probate assets. The Executor and the attorney
could agree on the payment of attorney fees or Executor fees in excess
of the guideline maximums, but the heirs or beneficiaries would have
the right to object unless they also consented in writing."
"...many Indiana counties use maximum fee guidelines in order to
determine what maximum attorney fee should normally be for any given
estate, in the absence of unusual the problems or circumstances. If
there is no county guideline available, the statewide maximum fee
guidelines of the Indiana Judicial Conference?s Probate Committee will
apply. The state and the county guidelines are all based on the dollar
values of the probate and non-probate assets. Generally, the
guidelines result in a recommended maximum attorney fee that ranges
between 4 and 6 percent of the total date-of-death value of all the
probate and non-probate assets. However, in an estate with few
beneficiaries, zero transfer taxes, and relatively easy administration
tasks, a reasonable attorney fee may be significantly lower than the
maximum guideline fee."
source: Locke Reynolds LLP: "What is Probate? How Long Does it Take?
How Much Does it Cost?"
(This document is in PDF format, so the Adobe Acrobat Reader is
required. If you don't have that, visit:
The Probate Committee of the Indiana Judicial Conference' guidelines
for determining fair and reasonable fees. See:
MAXIMUM FEE GUIDELINES FOR SUPERVISED ESTATES
Under these guidelines (and again, these specific guideliness may OR
MAY NOT apply in a particular Indiana county), a non-professional
personal representative (or "executor") is entitled to an "amount not
in excess of one-half (1/2) of the attorney's fees."
So basically, you have to calculate attorney's figures first and then
figure 1/2 for the executor.
So how much are attorney's fees?
Well, fees for ordinary services are as follows:
Up to $100,000, not to exceed... 6%
Next $200,000, not to exceed... 4%
Next $700,000, not to exceed... 3%
Over $1,000,000, not to exceed... 1%
Let's say that the value of the gross estate is $400,000.
Under the guidelines, the ordinary attorney's fees should not exceed:
6% of the first $100,000 = $6,000
4% of the next $200,000 = $8,000
3% of the last $100,000 = $3,000
Total (not to exceed)= $17,000
The fees of a non-professional personal representative (or "executor")
would be 1/2 of that, or (not to exceed) $8,500.
Again, this is just an example. A particular Indiana county may have
adopted different guidelines. Check with your local probate court.
indiana "court shall deem just and reasonable"
indiana "FEE GUIDELINES FOR SUPERVISED ESTATES"
I hope this helps.