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Executors & Probate

Will Executor?

Have you been chosen by someone to be the Executor of their Will? This means you have been given responsibility to manage their Estate according to the terms outlined in their Will, and to protect their assets under the laws that govern Estate Administration in Australia.

Executor Duties

An Executor’s duties may include:

  • Organising the funeral, notices for the paper
  • Locating the Will
  • Obtaining a copy of the Death Certificate
  • Making sure any property and assets are safe
  • 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 their estate
  • Selling properties and assets
  • Reporting to beneficiaries
  • Distributing the proceeds of the estate
  • Setting up trusts

Being an Executor can be overwhelming, particularly when you are grieving, but rest assured we can guide you through.

Do Executors get paid?

If you are a beneficiary of the Will it is presumed that your benefit will cover your costs. If you are not a beneficiary then you can apply to the Supreme Court for commission.

Do I need a Lawyer?

Executor’s duties can be complicated, so it is a good idea to get advice from a lawyer. The cost of legal advice is usually covered by the Estate.

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. You will likely need a Grant of Probate to deal with the Estate’s assets, such as selling property.

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. If you are the next-of-kin you can apply for Letters of Administration, which will allow you to finalise the Estate.

What if I am not up to the job?

Just because you have been named an Executor does not mean you have to accept the responsibility. If there is another Executor named, they can take on the job, or if you are the sole Executor you can apply to the court to appoint someone else.

Please Contact Us to find out more or to arrange an appointment with one of our Estate lawyers.