Who can receive the commission of a deceased agent?

QUESTION: Our firm is mourning the loss of one of our agents. He was a great guy and the sole income earner in his family. As BIC of the firm, I would like to pay the commissions for his pending transactions to his family or estate as soon as possible, but I am not sure I can pay someone who is not licensed. Can you help me figure this out?

ANSWER: You are legally allowed to pay the commissions to the deceased agent’s estate. Section 93A-2(c)(1)(4) of North Carolina’s General Statutes waives the ordinary requirement that someone be a licensed real estate broker in order to receive compensation for brokerage activities. The exception applies to anyone “while acting as a receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, guardian, administrator or executor or any person acting under order of any court.” All you need to do is find the personal representative of the deceased agent’s estate, and then deliver the funds to that person so they can administer them in accordance with the estate plan, if any.

As BIC of your firm, you might consider addressing this issue in your policy manual or your independent contractor agreement. While addressing the issue in these documents is not necessary to make payment to an estate, it would help inform your agents of what would happen in the event they pass away while at your firm. It may even encourage your agents to get their estate plans in order if they have not already done so.

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