Provision of Executor Services8 December 2021
What is Estate Administration?
Estate administration encompasses the processes and duties that are fulfilled in relation to a deceased person’s estate. Estate administration is typically carried out by an executor.
Some things that may be considered in the process of estate administration include, but are not limited to:
- Funeral Arrangements
- The payment of any outstanding liabilities
- Protecting assets
- Distributing property amongst the estate’s beneficiaries
- Disputes over the estate
- Managing tax issues
- Closing bank accounts
- Insurance issues
- Arranging probate
- Managing Superannuation
A wills and estates lawyer can provide executors with valuable advice and assistance in relation to the various processes and duties involved in the administration of an estate.
Brander Smith McKnight’s wills and estates lawyers understand the stressful and complex nature of an executor’s duties, which is why we are committed to providing you with efficient advice and assistance in a compassionate manner.
How can a lawyer help an executor?
If you are an executor, you may want to consider having a lawyer provide you with assistance. Some ways a wills and estates lawyer can help you include:
- Explaining to you your rights and responsibilities as an executor
- Arranging the preparation of documents necessary to obtaining probate
- Identifying the assets of the deceased
- Giving you advice in relation to debts and tax liabilities
- Explaining how a will intends for assets to be distributed
Why BSM Lawyers
We always take the time to listen carefully and thoroughly to your needs, we then advise on the most appropriate documents and structure for you.
Our lawyers meticulously draft your documents and then provide you with the opportunity to review these prior to finalisation.
We pride ourselves on creating watertight documents to minimise future risks in a cost-effective manner with a fixed fee. Compare our prices.
Brander Smith McKnight Lawyers also provide professional legal advice and advocacy for executors in any estate including distribution and contested estates.
What is probate?
Probate refers to the process of proving the legal validity of a will.
A grant of probate is a document that legally validates a will and authorises its executor/executors to administer a person’s estate.
Whether you will need to apply for a grant of probate will depend upon your unique circumstances.
Brander Smith McKnight’s expert wills and estates lawyers can provide you with assistance and advice in relation to probate.
Our team of experienced wills and estates lawyers can also help you through the stressful process of obtaining a grant of probate from the Supreme Court.
For more information on probate, please contact us on 02 8539 7475.
Can I contest the administration of an estate?
There are various reasons why a person may wish to contest the administration of an estate.
Some examples of when the administration of an estate may be contested include instances where:
- a beneficiary is dissatisfied with an executor’s conduct
- the validity of a will is challenged
- there is disagreement regarding the interpretation of the terms of the will.
Brander Smith McKnight’s expert wills and estates lawyers can assist you in contesting the administration of an estate. Our wills and estates lawyers are extremely experienced in all matters of will disputes and out lawyers will guide you through the process and be there for you every step of the way.
Do I have to be an executor?
No, if you do not want to be an executor you can renounce your position as an executor by signing a legal document known as a “renunciation”.
You can still renounce your executorship even where you have previously agreed to be one.
A wills and estates lawyer can assist you with organising and filing a renunciation of your position as an executor.
Should I make a will?
You should consider having a wills and estates lawyer draft you a will in order to make the process of administering your estate run smoothly following your death. Having your will drafted by a lawyer ensures that your will is legally effective and can be executed properly and efficiently.
A lawyer can also tailor the drafting of a will to reflect your instructions and circumstances. Further, a lawyer can ensure that you fully understand the rights and responsibilities that are created by your will. Having a lawyer draft your will can make the administration of your estate run smoothly and mitigate the chance of disputes arising.
Who should I make my executor?
You should appoint an executor who you think is fit to manage the administration of your estate.
When appointing an executor there are various considerations that you should make. Some things to consider when appointing someone as an executor include:
- Is the person responsible?
- Will the person manage your assets in the way you would like them to?
- Is the person going to outlive you?
- Should you have multiple executors?
- A wills and estates lawyer can provide you with advice when considering who you should appoint as an executor in your will.
How many executors do I need?
You can appoint multiple executors if you wish.
Appointing multiple executors can reduce the stress of fulfilling executor duties and administering an estate. However, how many executors it is suitable for you to appoint will depend on your individual circumstances. This is why you should consider seeking advice from a wills and estates lawyer to discuss whether the appointment of multiple executors is appropriate.
What is a beneficiary?
Put simply, a beneficiary is the title given to a person who is entitled to certain benefits from a will.
For example, a will may provide that one of its beneficiaries is entitled to the deceased’s house or car.
A will can provide for multiple beneficiaries and divide assets between them in accordance with the will maker’s intentions.
A wills and estates lawyer can inform you of the various rights that are held by beneficiaries.
Will the deceased’s assets be frozen?
Yes, to begin distributing the deceased’s assets probate must first be granted. Our expert wills and estates lawyers can assist you with probate applications.