The Role of an Executor

Article Tim Daley 17 May 2017

If you have been appointed as the Executor of someone's estate, you need to be aware of the responsibilities and duties that are associated with that role.

Outlined below is a checklist of the tasks that you will be required to undertake.  Remember, the compassionate and experienced team at CDQ will be able to help you and can advise you of your obligations at any time.

First Steps:

1.  Arrange the funeral of the deceased

2.  Make an appointment to see an experienced Wills & Estates lawyer for assistance with the administration of the Will.  

3.  If possible, before seeing the lawyer, it would be helpful to:

  • Prepare a list of all of the deceased's assets and liabilities, including contact details of any banks, share registries and so on.
  • Gather any documentation (such as Certificates of Title for real estate , bank books or statements) that relate to the assets or liabilities to bring in with you.
  • Obtain a letter of estimated market value for any real estate - we can assist with recommending an agent.
  • Obtain the full names and addresses of any beneficiaries named in the Will and birthdates of any minors.
  • Notify the insurance company if a house is left vacant.
  • Notify Centrelink, Veteran's Affairs etc if the deceased person received a pension.

At a later date:

4.  Seek professional financial advice regarding taxation issues, such as lodging a final tax return, extensions of time, Capital Gains Tax, Land Tax etc if applicable.

5.  Discuss any real estate issues with your lawyer such as whether a property that forms part of the estate should be leased or sold.

6.  If a property is to be rented out, make appropriate arrangements for it to be managed including collection of rentals and payment of outgoings.

7.  Ensure that you keep full and proper records of your conduct of the state, including receipts for any payments made out of estate funds or on the estate's behalf.

8.  Attend to any additional matters that arise during the course of the estate, as advised by your lawyer.

Your lawyer will look after any other requirements, such as obtaining a Grant of Probate, obtaining any documents required to close bank accounts, and preparing any court documents.  Most importantly, you will be given an estimate of what this will cost before any work is undertaken on behalf of the estate and payment for any services will be from the estate funds.  

For more information on the role of an Executor, or if you would like help with a deceased estate, contact CDQ on ph: 02 8566 2400.