Estate administration fees

Executor Fees

The task of serving as an executor of a Will can be complex and time-consuming. An executor, whether an individual or a corporate entity, is entitled to remuneration for acting in that capacity.

You may specify the amount of remuneration to your executor in your Will or in a separate compensation agreement. When you appoint a company authorized to act as an executor and trustee, you will typically enter into a compensation agreement setting out the remuneration payable.

If the will does not provide for executor remuneration and an executor compensation agreement is not in place, the Trustee Act governs remuneration to your executors and trustees. There are three components of remuneration under the Trustee Act as follows:

  1. Capital Fee — up to a maximum of 5% of the value of the assets in the estate is allowed by the Trustee Act
  2. Revenue Fee — 5% of all income collected in the estate
  3. Care & Management Fee — 2/5 of 1% per annum based on the fair market value of the trust. This fee is applicable when there is a long-term trust established in the Will, such as a trust for a minor or a mentally challenged beneficiary. Please note that this fee is not charged when the estate is distributed directly to adult beneficiaries.

Probate Fees

When an application is made to Court for probate of a Will (or Letters of Administration when there is no Will), a fee is payable to the Minister of Finance. That fee is based on the fair market value of the assets passing by the Will (or on the intestacy) including real and tangible personal property of the deceased that were situate in the Province of British Columbia at the date of death and intangible personal property of the deceased wherever situate. Probate fees are calculated on the fair market value of assets (both real and personal) as at the date of death.

Probate Fees are established by the Provincial Government and are subject to change. Currently, the probate fee schedule is as follows:

Estate Value Probate Fees
Up to $25,000.00 No fee
$25,001.00 to $50,000.00 $6.00 for every $1,000 over $25,000
Over $50,000 $14.00 for every $1,000 over $50,000

In addition, a filing fee of $200 is required for estates which have a gross asset value greater than $25,000.

Some assets can pass outside of the Will — such as assets held jointly with right of survivorship and life insurance policies or RRSP/RRIF/TFSA accounts where there is a named beneficiary. Those may not form part of the estate for purposes of calculating the probate fee.

While you may wish to arrange your affairs so your assets do not pass through your Will, please seek professional advice before proceeding with any planning of this nature.