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Executor Services

Why use an Executor

When someone dies, an executor is the person appointed by the will to administer the estate. Put simply, this involves making sure their debts are paid and that their assets and possessions go where they wanted them to. Usually, people name just one or two executors in their will, but technically they can name as many executors as they like.

For many persons, being an executor may be a new experience and made it all the more difficult when grieving for their loved one. Professional Executors are familiar with the environment and can complete the work more efficiently and thus being able to spend more time sympathetically attending to the estate. Also, administering an estate isn’t always straightforward and, as executor, you can be held liable if you get it wrong.

Many people feel that using a solicitor is the answer however as you know they can be very expensive and much of the executors work is dealing with more personal matters like dispersing the personal items of the deceased and making arrangements for the sale of assets which often are real estate and shares etc.

This is why using an Executor industry professional is advantageous. Much of the works of the estate is done by us instead of a solicitor. We do use the services of a solicitor to effect probate however much of the rest of the work is done by us which is allot cheaper than paying your solicitor to do so.

What do we do for your estate?

As executor, the first thing you’ll need to do is to make a list of everything the deceased owned as well as any payments or assets they were entitled to. This list is known as an inventory of property. Common assets included in the inventory of property are:

– Home
– Other real estate
– Car
– Money
– Bank accounts
– Furniture
– Household appliances
– Jewellery
– Shares and other investments
– Insurance policies
– Superannuation
– Outstanding work entitlements

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The estate pays for the executors professional time and this is noted in the will when nominating our services. These fees can be negotiated depending on the size of the estate however it must be remembered that these fees are offset by the savings you will make by not paying a solicitor to do all the legwork.

Usually you’ll have to pay a fee when you lodge the Probate forms. But the court makes an exception where an estate is worth less than $100,000. For small estates, some banks will also let you access the deceased’s funds before the court grants Probate.
Once you’ve obtained Probate, you can start selling the deceased’s assets so that the money can be divided amongst the beneficiaries. You might also need to contact the banks and companies in which the deceased had money, so that they release any funds.

Once the Supreme Court grants Probate you have to pay the deceased’s expenses and debts before you can give away any assets or money. To do this, you’ll need to open a bank account in the name of the estate and deposit their money into it – both from bank accounts and the sale of any of their assets. If you have a solicitor, their firm may have a trust account which you can deposit the money into.

There is a set order for paying debts, which goes:
– Funeral expenses (you can usually pay these even before probate has been granted)
– Administration expenses (e.g. legal costs in obtaining Probate)
– Outstanding tax, including income tax and capital gains tax
– Other debts.

Once you’ve sold all of the deceased’s assets and paid all their debts, you’ll need to prepare a report detailing exactly what assets they owned, how much money you received from each asset you sold, and also what debts you paid. This report is called a distribution report. You must give a copy of the distribution report to each of the beneficiaries when you pay them their share of the estate.

Finally, you can now give the deceased’s money and possessions away in line with the will (so long as six months have now passed since the deceased died). Within that time, you can also publish a notice telling anyone with a claim against the estate to notify you of the details within 30 days.

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