Probate & Deceased Estates

17 Useful Tips for Executors of a Will!


Here are some tips that all executors should know


  1. The Funeral

    As executor you are responsible for arranging and ultimately making payment for the funeral.
    [Read more…]

  2. The Will

    As executor you are responsible for finding the last Will made by the deceased.
    [Read more…] 

  3. The Beneficiaries

    As executor it is your job to let the beneficiaries know that they have been named in the will.
    [Read more…] 

  4. Renouncing Probate

    Sometimes it is sensible for an executor to decline to take on the role even though they have been named in the will.
    [Read more…] 

  5. Intermeddling

    No one is allowed to deal with the deceased person’s assets before probate has been granted, and then it is only the executor.
    [Read more…] 

  6. The Assets

    As executor it will be your job to identify the deceased person’s assets and liabilities.
    [Read more…] 

  7. Preserving the Assets and Maximising the Estate

    As executor you’ve got to keep the assets safe and take what opportunities are reasonably available to you in order to increase them, or at least avoid them depreciating or getting lost.
    [Read more…]. 

  8. The Death Certificate

    Normally the first medical practitioner who attends the deceased after his or her death will issue a medical death certificate. The original of this document will be given to the funeral director that you choose, who will use it to apply for a death certificate from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
    [Read more…]

  9. Probate, Letters of Administration or Neither?

    As executor one of the first things you will need to determine with your solicitor is whether it is even necessary to get a grant of probate.
    [Read more…].

  1. Publication of Notices

    As executor you will be responsible for putting the whole world on notice that you intend to obtain a grant of probate of what you understand to be the deceased’s last will.
    [Read more…]

  2. Claims against the Estate

    As executor you may have to deal with claimants who wish to challenge the will or claim against the estate.
    [Read more…]

  3. Estate Expenses

    As executor of the estate you will be entitled to be reimbursed all reasonable expenses you pay on behalf of the estate.
    [Read more…]

  4. Executor’s Commission

    As executor you may be entitled to a payment for your “pains and trouble in administering the estate”.
    [Read more…]

  5. Timeline for Obtaining Probate and Administering the Estate

    As executor you will be giving an undertaking to the court that you will administer the estate in accordance with the law. This means meeting certain deadlines.
    [Read more…]

  6. Tax Returns

    As executor you will be responsible for obtaining all necessary income tax assessments and getting them paid from estate money.
    [Read more…]

  7. Capital Gains Tax on Transferred Assets

    If you as executor arranged to sell an estate asset during the administration of the estate and that asset sale creates a CGT liability then it will be assessed in the estate’s tax returns and the tax liability paid out of estate money.
    [Read more…]

  8. Costs and Disbursements

    As executor of an estate you will almost certainly be engaging solicitors to act for you in obtaining a grant of probate and administering the estate.
    [Read more…]

Vital Tips for Executors Getting Probate

  • Locate the original Will – Do not un-staple the will or write on it at all
  • Compile an inventory of assets and liabilities – check lost monies on government ASIC website
  • Protect the assets
  • Renounce if you do not want/can’t be an executor – it does not affect your entitlement as a beneficiary
  • Make sure insurance is in place – be careful of unoccupied property exclusions
  • Do not try to rush the process – accept that it takes time and do not give beneficiaries unrealistic expectations as you may be personally liable if you rush and miss something and there is not enough money left in the estate to cover it.
  • Keep documentation organised and together so you can find information quickly when required
  • Communicate with beneficiaries regularly so they know what is happening and do not start to become upset with you because they are not properly informed of what is going on with the estate.
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