2017 Arkansas Code
Title 28 - Wills, Estates, and Fiduciary Relationships
Subtitle 4 - Administration of Decedents' Estates
Chapter 48 - Personal Representatives
Subchapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 28-48-108. Compensation of personal representative -- Employment of attorneys, etc
- (a) The personal representative shall be allowed such compensation for his or her services, when and as earned, as the court shall deem just and reasonable. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this compensation is not to exceed ten percent (10%) of the first one thousand dollars ($1,000), five percent (5%) of the next four thousand dollars ($4,000), and three percent (3%) of the balance of the value of the personal property passing through the hands of the personal representative, provided that compensation shall be allowed only on the value of such property as shall have been fully administered.
- (1) When the personal representative has performed substantial duties with respect to or on account of real property of the decedent, the court, in addition to other compensation provided by the Probate Code, may allow a reasonable compensation for such services with the amount thereof to be fixed by the court, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the services, the extent and value of the real property, and other relevant circumstances.
- (2) The burden of the payment of the additional compensation shall be borne in accordance with applicable provisions of the will, if any. Otherwise, the burden of the payment shall be borne by the distributees or beneficiaries of the estate whom the court finds to have been benefited by the services, in accordance with the principles of equity.
- (c) The court, in the exercise of its discretion, may decline to allow any compensation to or on behalf of a personal representative who has failed, after being cited to do so, to file a satisfactory account or to perform any other substantial duty pertaining to his or her office, and, for the same reason, the court may reduce the compensation which would otherwise be allowed to or on behalf of such a personal representative.
- (1) The personal representative may employ legal counsel in connection with the probate of the will or the administration of the estate, and the attorney so employed shall prepare and present to the circuit court all necessary notices, petitions, orders, appraisals, bills of sale, deeds, leases, contracts, agreements, inventories, financial accounts, reports, and all other proper and necessary legal instruments during the entire six (6) months, or longer when necessary, while the estate is required by law to remain open.
- (2) For the legal services described in subdivision (d)(1) of this section, the attorney, unless otherwise contracted with the personal representative, heirs, and beneficiaries of the estate, shall be allowed a fee based on the total market value of the real and personal property reportable in the circuit court, as follows:
- (A) Five percent (5%) of the first five thousand dollars ($5,000);
- (B) Four percent (4%) of the next twenty thousand dollars ($20,000);
- (C) Three percent (3%) of the next seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000);
- (D) Two and three-fourths percent (23/4%) of the next three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000);
- (E) Two and one-half percent (21/2%) of the next six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000); and
- (F) Two percent (2%) of the value of all properties thereafter.
- (3) If the schedule of fees as provided in subdivision (d)(2) of this section is determined by the court to be either excessive or insufficient under the circumstances, then the court shall allow the attorney a fee commensurate with the value of the legal services rendered.
- (e) When authorized by the will or the court, the personal representative may employ accountants, engineers, appraisers, and other persons whose services are reasonably required in connection with the administration of the estate, and the court shall fix or approve the compensation for such services, which shall be allowed as an item of expense of the administration.
- (1) Upon election, a personal representative may fix his or her or its own fee and the fees of the attorneys for the estate or any accountant, auditor, or investment advisor without prior approval from the court, but the reasonableness of the compensation of any person so employed or the compensation for the services of the personal representative, either on petition of any interested person, on petition by the personal representative, or on the court's own motion, shall be reviewed by the court.
- (2) Any person who has received excessive compensation from the estate for services rendered may be ordered to make appropriate refunds.
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