What To Do Following The Funeral – The Role Of The Executor
As every individual is different, so are each person’s assets and liabilities. It is therefore impossible to list all of the tasks you may be asked to perform. However, once you have taken care of the immediate responsibilities, the following duties may be common to the estate administration.
An executor(s) of a Will/Estate is responsible for:
- Ascertaining whether a valid Will was made or if the deceased died Intestate.
- Determine whether provision was made in the Will regarding the funeral/burial/cremation.
- Determine the beneficiaries of the estate and their relevant entitlement.
- Ascertain the assets and liabilities of the estate. (Determine assets in Queensland or elsewhere)
- Determine whether those assets/liabilities can be collected by Forms and Indemnities or whether a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration is required to be obtained.
(N.B. – Queensland law does not automatically require a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration to be obtained for all estates. However all other Australian States have regulations binding property and assets under their jurisdiction so although you might not require a Grant of Probate in Queensland you may require it to apply for a Reseal of Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration in another state.)
- Gathering and taking control of the estate property. (Executors are bound to maintain assets in the same condition as at the date of death and to ensure all insurances are maintained.)
- Transmit the estate assets.
- Lodge tax return and finalise tax affairs.
- Advertising for claimants to lodge their claims for debts owing and paying debts.
- Finalise financial/business affairs.
- Distribution or transfer of estate property to beneficiaries.
- Prepare accounts and finalise estate.
It is important to note that the onus of responsibility lies with the executor of the estate to administer it correctly. If an estate has not been administered correctly or a claim is overlooked, then the executor will be personably liable for any claim made against the estate if all funds have been exhausted or distributed.
Many people will engage the services of solicitor to undertake the duties mentioned above and others may elect to undertake the duties themselves.