A question that often comes into relatives’ minds is ’who is the executor of a Will?’. An executor basically carries out the Will-maker’s wishes. The executor represents the deceased person. An executor can also be a deceased’s closest living relative.
A testator is basically the person who has made a Will or given a legacy. Estate administration is rarely simple or straightforward. The executor you choose is almost as crucial as the Will itself.
There are several responsibilities, including managing investments and taxes. This includes locating and proving all possible beneficiaries. Read this article to get further answers to ‘who is the executor of a Will’.
Who Is The Executor Of A Will: Important Terms
- Beneficiaries are the individuals or entities who receive assets under a Will.
- In certain circumstances, executors must apply to the Supreme Court for probate of the Will. A grant of probate gives permission to act to an executor. Gaining probate grants the executor to have authority to deal with the deceased’s assets.
- A codicil is a written amendment or addition to the contents of a Will. The codicil is prepared after the Will has been signed and read alongside the original Will.
- The Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages produces a death certificate. It also includes information on the deceased and their death circumstances.
- An affidavit is a written declaration. Signing this document requires a qualified witness. Some examples are a solicitor or Justice of the Peace.
Who Is The Executor Of A Will And What Do They Do?
Executors must carry out a number of duties. Firstly, they will file for a death certificate, and acquire a grant of probate to validate the Will. They can also aid with funeral preparations. Executors should also contact concerned government agencies.
These agencies are the Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink about the testator’s death. They generally notify banks and financing businesses of the testator’s death and discharge loans. Moreover, they make necessary payments to these businesses.
Executors collect from insurance and superannuation accounts. They are in charge of safeguarding the deceased’s assets until the Will’s execution. Who is the executor of a Will and what are their responsibilities?
Their responsibilities include securing property, producing an inventory, and obtaining asset values. Executors may also take procedures like acquiring insurance to safeguard the asset through probate and/or arranging for a property sale.
Executors is responsible for defending the estate against legal action. They can also settle disputes between beneficiaries if the Will is challenged or contested. Additionally, executors should give a detailed explanation of a beneficiaries estate management.
Once done, executors can transfer the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries. Even after the assets have been dispersed, an executor’s responsibilities, such as running a trust, may continue after the assets have been distributed. This happens especially when young children are involved.
Other Responsibilities Of The Executor
Determine the beneficiaries
The executor must identify all of the people who fit under this category. The Will can bequeath assets to non-specified people like the Will-maker’s children. Doing this can be difficult if you have a blended family, a family conflict, or family members who reside abroad.
Advertise for claims
The executor must notify the death of any potential claimants against the estate. Some of these are the creditors and beneficiaries. Executors can find these people in newspaper advertisements and government gazettes. When a claim is received, the executor must make a decision whether to pay it or not.
Lodge tax returns
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) provides permission for estate distribution. Executors must file a tax return for the deceased for the current fiscal year. This includes previous years if the deceased did not file one. The estate gets revenue each year. Furthermore, this includes capital gains on assets sold by the estate. The executor must apply for a tax filing number and file a tax report.
Importantly, the executor can employ a variety of techniques to reduce capital gains tax. Some examples are selling assets across two financial years, transferring assets in kind, and maximising valuations at the time of death. These tactics can have a big impact on the estate’s value when it’s time to transfer it to beneficiaries.
Once all matters related to debts and gifts have been handled, the executor may divide the remaining assets. Executors must divide the remaining assets according to the instructions of the Will.
The executor is resigning
Who is the executor of a Will if the original one resigns? An executor can resign from his/her duties. However, this is a complex procedure. They must get court approval, plan for a successor, and have the existing probate grant cancelled and replaced.
Removing the executor
It is difficult to dismiss an executor simply because a beneficiary is unhappy with the estate’s administration. Courts are reluctant to act unless they are deemed unfit for the job. The following are examples of behaviour that might result in the removal of an executor:
- Excessive delays;
- Failure to communicate with beneficiaries or;
- Refusal to account for the estate’s assets
Who is the executor of a Will if the original one is removed? The core problem in assessing whether it is sufficient to remove the original one is the protection of a beneficiary’s interest in the estate.
The executor is dying
Who is the executor of a Will if the original one dies? An executor listed in a will can die before they can carry out their responsibilities. As a result, the estate is normally administered by a second executor named in the Will.
If the Will does not specify a second executor, any qualified adult might petition to become the estate’s administrator. This qualified adult can petition the court. To apply for the position of administrator, this person does not need to be a beneficiary of the estate.
Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice
It’s quite a lengthy process in knowing ‘who is the executor of a Will?’. What’s more, executors dying and executors being irresponsible are possibilities. This can spark disputes among beneficiaries and have them opt for costly court procedures.
JB Solicitors have experienced solicitors that can assist in administering a Will’s terms properly. As a result, beneficiaries and family members will have a clear understanding of a Will. It’s important to seek legal advice when drafting up a Will.