Has a friend or loved one named you in their Will as executor of their deceased estate? If so, you may be uncertain about your responsibilities and fear that you are not up to the task.
You may be confused or overwhelmed, but the Adelaide probate and estate administration law firm Genders & Partners is here to put your mind at ease about your role as an estate executor.
What’s the Job of an Estate Executor?
Locate & secure the Will
- The original Will could actually be anywhere, including among the deceased’s important papers. When you find the original Will, you should take great care not to alter it in any way.
- Don’t mark it and don’t remove any staples or paper clips. It is safest to get certified copies to work with and keep the original in a safe place.
Make funeral arrangements
- You must familiarise yourself with the Will’s contents immediately, as it may contain instructions about the funeral.
- Provisions for the funeral, cremation, interment and memorial directions are sometimes outlined in the Will. It is your job to contact the funeral director and make plans according to the wishes of the deceased.
- Funeral expenses will be paid from the estate before assets are distributed to beneficiaries.
Make important notifications, such as to Centrelink, Medicare, DVA, Private Health fund etc.
Safeguard the assets
- Identify, locate and safeguard the assets. This job may include freezing bank accounts and placing cash, jewellery & other valuable items in a safe place.
- Secure the deceased person’s house, and keep up any insurances on the property which the deceased had in place.
- Collect important papers pertaining to bank accounts, investments and life insurance policies and make a list of all assets.
Apply for a Grant of Probate
- Your probate lawyer in SA will work on your behalf to obtain this order of the court, which proves that the Will is valid. All assets are frozen until you are granted probate.
Pay debts and distribute assets
- After probate is granted, it’s your duty to take care of the deceased’s outstanding debts and taxes for the financial year. Once taxes are paid, you can begin distributing assets to beneficiaries.
Administering a deceased estate, with or without Probate, is not a simple matter, and an executor would be well-served to take advice and assistance with this important responsibility.
Genders & Partners specialises in Trusts, Wills and Estate Planning, Probate and Deceased Estate Administration in Adelaide and all over South Australia.
Request Your FREE 15 minute Telephone Consultation Today! Call us on (08) 8212 7233.