Surprise! You're the Executor of the Will


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When the Willmaker dies his or her Executor takes charge immediately. The Executor has all the rights and responsibilities from the moment the deceased dies - even before the Executor obtains Probate.

These slides are intended to provide those who are to administer the will the guidance.

Those administering a deceased estate should seek appropriate legal and taxation advice from Etienne Lawyers.

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Surprise! You're the Executor of the Will

  1. 1. Surprise! You’re the Executor of the Will
  2. 2. What Needs To Be Done Promptly?! ! It is difficult to make decisions at a time of personal distress.! Only a FEW things need to be done in the first couple of weeks after the death.! The Practicalities
  3. 3. The will is an important document and should be located and read prior to commencing any formal arrangements.! The Will appoints the Executor.! The Will may contain instructions concerning the deceased’s burial and funeral wishes.! The Will should be kept safe and handed to Etienne Lawyers at the time of giving instructions for obtaining Probate. Locate and Keep Secure the Will
  4. 4. Arrange the Funeral The funeral ceremony is very important and helps people accept the reality of death.! Check the deceased’s records to see if there are funeral plans or instructions.! Check the Will to ascertain whether the deceased incorporated any burial instructions in it.! At law the body of the deceased becomes the property of the Executor. The Executor has the final say on how and where the body is to be interred.
  5. 5. Funeral Costs Funeral costs can be considerable.! You need to pay the funeral costs almost immediately.! Banks generally release the funeral costs from the deceased’s bank account.! If you have problems with the bank releasing money to pay the funeral costs speak to Etienne Lawyers.
  6. 6. Take Control of and Protect the Deceased’s Assets Take possession of the deceased’s assets where possible and protect them.! Check that the car, home and other assets are insured.! If something happens to them you may be personally liable.
  7. 7. Shares! Personal Effects! Cars! Houses and Real Property! any debts that are owing to the deceased! Any debts that the deceased owes to other people. A List of Assets May Include
  8. 8. Notify your Solicitor Advise Etienne Lawyers promptly of the deceased’s death.! While little needs to be done in the first few weeks after the funeral, your solicitor can answer preliminary questions and advise of any issues of concern.
  9. 9. Getting the Death Certificate Their is generally nothing further you can do as Executor until you get the Death Certificate.! The Registration of Death is official proof of death.! The deceased’s doctor signs the required forms.! The forms are then lodged with the Registrar General’s Office.! It takes about 3 weeks for the funeral director to arrange and then give you the Registration of Death.
  10. 10. If the deceased was receiving Centrelink benefits at the time of death, Centrelink should be notified as soon as possible.! The deceased’s spouse may be entitled to a “bereavement allowance” from Centrelink but it is imperative the application be made promptly. Notify Centrelink if applicable
  11. 11. Reading of the Will Unlike in the movies there is rarely a formal reading of the Will.! However, if the family request a formal reading of the Will they are entitled to it.
  12. 12. The Executor takes custody of the Will.! It is prudent to give all beneficiaries a copy of the Will and keep them apprised of the situation.! The Executor can be sued if the Executor does not act in the beneficiaries’ best interests. Who Gets Copies of the Will
  13. 13. Applying for Probate of the Will The term “probate” describes the process of “proving the Will”.! The end result is the issue of a formal “probate document” which provides legal authority to the Executor to deal with the deceased’s assets.! The Executor in most cases will be required to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Court.! The Executor should consult with Etienne Lawyers to arrange for all the legal matters to be attended to promptly.
  14. 14. Steve Brown! If you have any questions concerning Wills or Probate call 1300 882 032 etienne LAWYERS in association with Davis King & Co