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Choosing the Executor of Your Will

There comes a time when we all must make decisions about what will happen after our death.

This It is a difficult topic to discuss with loved ones.

It is important to choose a family member or friend that is dependable, mature and level-headed to be the executor of your will.

The most common executors of a Will tend to be a spouse, partner, child or close friend.

In some cases a person may appoint their lawyer or the Public Trustee to carry out the wishes in their will.

What is the Executor responsible for?

The executor of a Will is responsible for gathering the assets, paying outstanding debts and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will (the executor can also be a beneficiary).

The executor is also responsible for organizing your funeral, including whether there will be a burial or cremation.

It is recommended you discuss with those very close to you who will be appointed executor, as you want the executor to be ready and willing to take on the role.

Questions You Should Ask

Here are some questions to ask when thinking of who to make the executor of your Will:

  • Is this person level headed / sensible?

  • Does the person get along with other members of my family?

  • Is the person responsible enough to respect the procedures of executing a Will?

  • Does the person have experience managing funds and assets?

What does the executor need to know?

Once your Will is prepare, the executor should be told where the Will is being kept.

Applying for Probate

In order to officially act as the executor, the executor must generally apply for a “Grant of Probate” from the Supreme Court.

If there is not Will then an application is generally made for what is known as Letters of Administration.

Is the Executor paid?

Unless stated in the will an executor does not get paid for overseeing that the will is executed.

The executor is entitled to apply money from the deceased person’s estate to meet necessary expenditure such as accountant or lawyer’s advice.

Hammond Legal

This is generic advice. For tailored advice to suit your situation Hammond Legal is able to assist you with preparing your will, applying for probate and executing a will.


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