When most wills are prepared a person is appointed by the will-maker as an ‘Executor’. This can include everyone from next-of-kin, immediate family, relatives, family-by-blood and close friends. It all comes down to what the will-maker sees in that person and entrusts in them so that they can manage their affairs, in accordance with their wishes, after they passed.
Many wonder what this role entails – and whether it carries extra responsibilities and risks. As a leading Melbourne family law firm in wills, estates and probates, we break down the key tasks of the role.
The Basic Premise
As an Executor, the basic role is to administer and follow on from the requests from deceased’s will. This can include everything from organising the funeral to distributing the estate to the beneficiaries. They are responsible for managing all these little details in accordance to what the deceased’s wanted.
Formal Approval of the Will
Before anything else, it is of vital importance to obtain a ‘Grant of Probate’ from the Court. This probate will officially accept the will and the executive powers that fall under it. In simple terms: this confirms your position as executor. In some cases, you might not need to get a probate, but in some cases (especially if there is a dispute), you will need the court’s approval.
All The Possible Duties
Your role will vary on what the will states. This can vary from person to person, so your role as executor can change. The most common responsibilities include:
- Securing the assets of the estate
- Conduct evaluations of the property and estates
- Manage all possible debts and secure payments for future
- Establish or administer any trusts that are created in the will
- Distribute the estate, assets, and properties to members and persons mentioned in the will
- Provide in-depth statements of all distribution to members
You will also have to notify key government departments (including transportation authorities, city councils, Centrelink), as well as major companies (banks, insurance, superannuation and utility organisations) and inform them about the deceased. You will have to cancel their accounts or manage a transition of them.
Managing The Role
Being an executor is not always easy, you can struggle with the pressure of handling all the tasks, managing the accounts, paying debts and dealing with beneficiaries. There is also the chance that your role can be challenged and disputed; which will lead to more stress. If the role is too demanding for you, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a lawyer. They will be able to help you manage the position.
When it comes to facing issues with wills, estates, and probates, Mirabellas Solicitors can help you. With our years of experience, we can make the difference for your case. Contact us on (03) 9898 3100 for a free consultation