Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 473
Probate Code--Administration of Decedents' Estates
Section 473.153

August 28, 2014


Compensation of personal representatives, accountants and attorneys.

473.153. 1. If a testator by will makes provision for the compensation of his personal representative, that shall be allowed and taken as his full compensation unless he files in the court a written instrument renouncing all claim for the compensation provided by the will before qualifying as personal representative. When no compensation is provided in the will, or when there is no will, or when the personal representative renounces all claim to the compensation provided in the will, the compensation of the personal representative shall be determined pursuant to this section. When there is only one personal representative he shall be allowed as the minimum compensation for his services the following percentages of the value of the personal property administered and of the proceeds of all real property sold under order of the probate court:

On the first $ 5,000, 5 percent;

On the next 20,000, 4 percent;

On the next 75,000, 3 percent;

On the next 300,000, 2 3/4 percent;

On the next 600,000, 2 1/2 percent;

On all over 1,000,000, 2 percent. In any case where reasonable compensation to the personal representative is in excess of the minimum provided in the above schedule, the court shall allow such additional compensation as will make the compensation of the personal representative reasonable and adequate. Performance by the personal representative of extraordinary services is not necessary to entitle him to such additional compensation. Such percentages shall be computed on the value of the personal property at the time of disbursement or distribution thereof, except that where it is necessary to allow compensation before the property is disbursed or distributed, or to allow compensation to a personal representative who has been succeeded by another personal representative, the court may determine the fair market value of property at the time of making the allowance and base such percentage thereon.

2. When there are two or more joint or successor personal representatives they shall be allowed in the aggregate reasonable compensation for their services, not exceeding twice the minimum provided for in the schedule set forth in subsection 1 of this section or five percent of the value of the personal property administered and of the proceeds of the real property sold under order of the probate division, whichever is less, except that this maximum limitation shall not apply if possession has been taken of real property pursuant to order of the probate division but such real property has not been sold under order of the probate division, or if extraordinary services have been performed. Where there are two or more joint or successor personal representatives the compensation allowed them shall be apportioned among them by the court according to the services actually rendered by each, or as they may agree.

3. Attorneys performing services for the estate at the instance of the personal representative shall be allowed out of the estate as the minimum compensation for their services sums equal to the percentages set forth in the schedule contained in subsection 1 of this section. In any case where reasonable compensation to the attorneys is in excess of the minimum provided in the schedule the court shall allow such additional compensation as will make the compensation of the attorneys reasonable and adequate. Performance by the attorneys of extraordinary services is not necessary to entitle them to such additional compensation. If the personal representative is an attorney, no allowance shall be made for legal services performed by him or at his instance unless such services are authorized by the will or by order of the court or are consented to by all heirs and devisees whose rights may be adversely affected by the allowance. In addition, when one member of a law firm or professional corporation serves as personal representative of the estate and another member of the same law firm or professional corporation serves as the attorney for the estate, only one fee as set forth in subsection 1 of this section shall be allowed.

4. A personal representative may employ independent accountants, certified public accountants, or tax specialists holding a valid permit to practice before the United States Treasury Department to assist him in filing estate tax returns, federal and state income tax returns, or establishing records of account and reporting on financial results in those estates requiring this service and such person shall be allowed reasonable compensation for such service as determined by the court. If the personal representative is a certified public accountant, tax specialist holding a valid permit to practice before the United States Treasury Department or an independent accountant, no allowance shall be made for accountant services performed by him or at his instance unless such services are authorized by will or by order of the court or are consented to by all heirs and devisees whose rights may be adversely affected by the allowance. In addition, when one member of an accounting firm or professional corporation serves as an accountant for the estate, only one fee as set forth in subsection 1 of this section will be allowed.

5. If the court finds that any accountant's services or actions in connection therewith are wrong, improper or injurious to the estate, no accountant fee whatsoever shall be allowed.

6. Compensation properly allowable hereunder may be allowed to personal representatives or attorneys upon final settlement, or partial compensation upon application therefor, at any time or times during administration. If the court finds that a personal representative has failed to discharge his duties as such in any respect it may deny him any compensation whatsoever or may reduce the compensation which would otherwise be allowed. If the court finds that any attorney's services or actions in connection therewith are wrong, improper or injurious to the estate, no attorney fee whatever shall be allowed.

7. No personal representative, other than one who is an attorney, may appear in court except by attorney, and such attorney may not be a salaried employee of the personal representative, but when the personal representative is an attorney, nothing herein shall prevent his being represented in court by a partner, associate or employee who is an attorney. Any personal representative may prepare and file his own inventories and settlements.

(L. 1955 p. 385 ยง 73, A.L. 1978 H.B. 1634, A.L. 1980 S.B. 637, A.L. 1989 H.B. 145)


© Copyright

bottom Missouri General Assembly