Are you an appointed 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 have outlined in their Will and to protect their assets under the various laws and rules that govern Estate administration in Australia. There is no cause for concern if you have been given this role as we can help you in what is a very difficult time. We recommend you talk to us before taking any steps in the administration. Whilst there is no immediate rush to distribute an Estate, and in fact this can’t be done until at least thirty (30) days has passed, there are things that you may need to do straight away. These include potentially arranging the funeral and securing and insuring assets to make sure they are protected.
An Executor’s duties may include responsibilities such as:
- Organising the funeral, notices for the paper and 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
- 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 this process.
Do I need a Solicitor?
Estates vary in complexity and Executor’s duties can be complicated, so it is a good idea to get advice from a Solicitor at the beginning. You can then choose if you need our assistance or not. The cost of legal advice is usually covered by the Estate, not personally by the Executors.
What is Probate?
Probate is recognition of the Will’s validity 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. Probate also provides protection to the Executors however, it is not always necessary to obtain Probate. Talk to us today to determine if Probate is required.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment with Helen Foster who has in excess of 10 years in Succession Law.