I’ve Been Appointed Executor Of A Will. What Happens Now?

by | May 4, 2023 | Family Law, Probate, Wills, Wills & Estates Probate, Wills and Estates

When a loved one passes away, one of the unpleasant but necessary tasks that falls to the bereaved is to carry out their wishes as laid out in their will. Typically, a person’s will would name a trusted person to be the executor thereof, tasking them with ensuring that the will is carried out to the letter.

While executing a will can be a big job, one can be thankful that there is a valid will in place at all, as the alternative would involve trying to administer an intestate death, which is significantly more complex and difficult.

Your Rights And Responsibilities

If you have been appointed executor, you will be responsible for ensuring the will is carried out. If you do not want to do this, you can apply for a formal renunciation in the Supreme Court – although this should definitely be done as soon as possible as your request may be denied if you have already done some of the work.

Generally, executors are not paid for their services if they are named as beneficiaries in the will. If there is no remuneration offered in the will, you can apply to the Supreme Court for payment, called commission.

First Steps

The first thing to do as an executor is to collect the necessary documentation. This includes things like the final will, the death certificate, and a thorough inventory of the assets that make up the deceased’s estate, including valuations.

With all of these documents in hand, you will then need to apply for probate, which is a court order that confirms the validity of the will and gives you the formal right to execute the estate.

Once this is done, you may begin the process of selling assets and dividing the estate among beneficiaries as per the will.

The Costs

Importantly, the deceased’s outstanding debts need to be repaid firs, such as outstanding taxes, funeral costs, and other expenses.

For smaller estates, there are generally no fees for applying for probate or accessing funds. Larger estates valued at more than $100 000 typically carry fees when applying for probate.

One of the other costs is that of legal fees, as very often the execution of an estate will require the assistance of an experienced and competent lawyer to get everything done correctly and quickly.

Executing a will can be hard and complicated work. Employing the services of wills and estates law experts like us at Rafton Family Lawyers can help immensely to ease the burden and ensure the estate is executed correctly. Contact us today to get help now!