First, it depends on what the terms of the will provide in the way of compensation to the executor.
Second, here is a publication by the Supreme Court of Virginia thoroughly addressing the subject. Basically, if the will doesn't cover the subject, the executor will be allowed reasonable compensation that will vary depending on the estate size and the amount of work involved. There is basic presumption that certain percentages from 5% to 2% of the estate would be a reasonable fee (the percentage that is applicable depends on the overall value of the estate).
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Edited by TMcJD on 8/9/2010 at 2:11 PM EST