Have you been named as an Executor, or been granted Letters of Administration to administer an Estate?
As Executor (or Administrator), there are a number of things you need to do, from putting a notice in the paper and informing all beneficiaries, through to finalising tax returns.
If you need some advice and guidance, Smith Legal Solutions can help you carry out your duties and responsibilities quickly and efficiently.
What does an Executor have to do?
Few things are urgent, and you definitely don’t have to organise a formal reading of the Will (unless you really want to). But even with a really simple Will, an executor might need to provide the following services, either yourself or through relevant professionals. Contact us for advice and information from specialist estate lawyers on the Gold Coast.
- Put a notice in the newspaper – not essential, but it lets those interested know about the death.
- Check to see if there are any specific instructions regarding the funeral, and make the necessary arrangements.
- Advertise for creditors of the estate.
- Advise relevant financial institutions to guard against unauthorised use of bank accounts.
- Take reasonable steps to protect valuable assets – if you need to, remove all cash and valuables for safe keeping.
- Obtain an authority to administer the estate – either a Grant of Probate, or Letters of Administration if there is no Will.
- Pay all debts, such as creditors, funeral expenses, income tax, fees for administering the estate and out-of-pocket expenses.
- If you need to, consider seeking emergency financial assistance to help the family.
- Inform the beneficiaries of their entitlements under the Will.
- Finalise income tax returns up to the date of death and for the estate.
- Establish Trusts. These are needed if the beneficiary is under 18 years of age, mentally incapable, or if there are specific instructions in the Will.
If you don’t feel comfortable being the Executor – You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. If you’re unwilling or unable to act as the Executor, you can renounce your right to obtain probate of the Will. Other major beneficiaries can then apply to the Court for what is called ‘Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed.’
The most important thing is not to worry about being an Executor – it is an important job, but our estate lawyers can provide you with all the help and support you need to carry it out properly. Contact us today so we can guide you through the processes.
Don’t put off to tomorrow, what can be done today. Tomorrow may be too late.