I have been appointed as an executor in a will. What does this really mean?
You may have been told that you have been nominated as an executor in their will and may not really be sure what this means for you? It may be a little daunting and you may be a little unsure what this role entails. So, what does this important role mean?
When someone makes a legal Will, they nominate an executor, or they may elect a number of people to act together. In a nutshell, the role of the executor is to make sure the wishes of someone are carried out when they die. Their role is to administer the estate in accordance with their Will. In doing so, an executor must comply with various laws and rules.
The responsibilities of an executor could include:
- Locating an original Will
- Making funeral arrangements
- Notifying relevant bodies (banks etc)
- Making a list of debts and assets
Applying to the Supreme Court for grant of Probate (this is an order from the Supreme Court of NSW that confirms the validity of a Will and that any executors have the right to administer the estate.
A common question which is asked is, How long does it take to administer an estate? The answer to this depends on the complexity of the Estate, the minimum time would be 6 months, but most take up to a year from death to be finalised.
If the will creates a trust the executor may also have to take on the role of trustee. A will creates a trust if the deceased gifts all or part of their estate to a child or grandchild. The trustee may have to look after the estate and assets until they reach a certain age (generally between 18, 21 or 25 years).
You may obtain the advice of a solicitor if you are nominated as an executor to assist in your role and this is usually paid for by the deceased’s estate. A solicitor can explain your role and rights and responsibilities, assist with the application for probate and ensure it is being carried out correctly.
If you have been nominated as an executor in a Will and require advice, please contact Speirs Law on 1300 574 789.