The compensation allowable to trustees is also generally fixed by statute. Section 14-103 of the Maryland Estates and Trusts Article prescribes a schedule of commission rates, calculable both on principal and income, subject to increase or decrease, for cause, by a court having jurisdiction over the trust. Here is an example: commissions calculated at the statutory rates on a trust having a principal value of $500,000 would be approximately $3,000 per year. Trustees are expected to absorb and pay for, out of their commissions, all of the ordinary and routine expenses of the trust administration, such as safekeeping of assets, routine accountings, making and executing all administrative and investment decisions, etc. They would normally be allowed, however, to charge any extraordinary expenses to the trust.
In addition, trustees are allowed to receive certain extra commissions on the sale of real property held by a trust, and in connection with any distributions of principal from the trust. Unlike the practice in some other jurisdictions, co-fiduciaries in Maryland must generally divide the allowable commissions between themselves rather than being entitled to receive multiple commissions.
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