Are you an Executor?
Have you been chosen by a family member or friend to be the Executor of their Will? This means that you have been given responsibility to manage their estate according to the terms they’ve outlined in their Will and to protect their assets under the various laws and rules that govern estate administration in Australia.
An executor’s responsibilities may include:
- Organising the funeral, notices for the paper, flowers
- Locating the Will
- Obtaining a copy of the Death Certificate
- Making sure any property and assets are safe and secure
- Determining the value of assets
- Applying for Probate or a Grant of Administration
- Paying insurance policies, debts and taxes
- Collecting monies belonging to the deceased from financial institutions and insurance companies
- Collecting debts owed to the deceased
- Lodging tax returns for the deceased and for the estate
- Selling properties and assets
- Reporting to beneficiaries
- Distributing the proceeds of the estate to beneficiaries
- Setting up trusts
Being an Executor can be overwhelming, particularly when you are grieving, but rest assured we can guide you through the process.
Do Executors get paid?
It depends. If you are a beneficiary of the will, sometimes it is presumed that your benefit will cover your costs. If you’re not a beneficiary then you can apply to the Supreme Court for commission.
Do I need a Lawyer?
Estates vary in complexity and Executor’s duties can be complicated, so it may be a good idea to get advice from a lawyer. The cost of legal advice is usually covered by the estate, not the Executors personally.
What is Probate?
Probate is recognition that the Will is valid and permission from the Supreme Court for the Executors named in the Will of the deceased, to carry out their duties in relation to the Estate. You will likely need a grant of Probate to deal with the assets of an estate, such as selling property and obtaining bank funds.
What if there is no Will?
This situation is referred to as intestacy and the law determines how assets will be shared out after debts have been paid. The law is different in each State and Territory of Australia. Sometimes the law in multiple jurisdictions can apply! It is best to seek legal advice about who has priority to apply for a grant of letters of administration and who is entitled to benefit from the estate.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment with an experienced Probate lawyer.