Fiduciary Administration – Compensation – Extra Compensation and the Rule Against Self-Dealing

Respondent was a member of a firm of certified public accountants who were actively engaged in assisting decedent work out his income tax difficulties at the time of his death. Under decedent’s will respondent was named executor and trustee along with decedent’s lawyer and a trust company. The executors employed respondent’s partnership to perform services in connection with the estate. The surviving widow and life beneficiary of the estate filed objections to the account of the executors, urging that the rule against self-dealing on the part of fiduciaries precluded respondent from recovering for services performed as an accountant in addition to his duties as an executor. On appeal from a decree of surrogate’s court overruling this objection, held, affirmed, subject to modification. The respondent was entitled to extra compensation for his services as an accountant in addition to his compensation as executor and trustee, but only to the extent that the court considered reasonable and fair. In re Tuttle’s Will, 4 App. Div. (2d) 310, 164 N.Y.S. (2d) 573 (1957).