The short answer is no – although being a lay executor can be very time consuming and involved, there is no financial compensation for the hours spent on managing a deceased estate. Anyone with an already busy working life should be fully aware of this before they decide to accept the role of executor.
Professional executors, such as solicitors or banks, are of course able to charge for their time, but there is no financial incentive for lay executors. Under the laws of England and Wales this would be viewed as profiting from a position of trust. The only exception is if a clause has been included in the will which specifically allows an executor to charge for their time.
As there is no financial remuneration for taking on the role of executor it is particularly important to bear this in mind if you are a company director or self- employed, as time spent managing a deceased estate could impact on your paid role.
Lay executors are able to reclaim out of pocket expenses as long as the expenses are reasonable – these can include necessary travelling costs, telephone calls, postage and payments made for death certificates and fees. Indemnity insurance to protect the executor can also be included and as lay executors can face unlimited liability for any mistakes they make, it is well worth considering taking out a policy at the outset.
Whatever costs you incur you will need to keep records and receipts in order to receive full reimbursement from the estate, and these expenses should be shown within the final estate accounts.