An executor is the person or people you appoint to administer your estate and carry out the instructions in your Will.
This involves arranging the funeral, making sure any debts are paid, and that the assets and possessions are distributed in accordance with the deceased's Will.
The executor's role includes things such as identifying assets and liabilities, valuing the estate, applying for a grant of probate with the Supreme Court, contacting beneficiaries, and attending to the distribution of the estate.
An executor is a complex role that comes with many obligations, and the executor has a duty to avoid conflicts of interest and act in the best interests of the estate and all of the beneficiaries. For these reasons, executors may need the help of experienced solicitors to administer the estate.
While people are often confused by the difference between executors, enduring guardians, and power of attorneys, an executor can only handle your affairs once you have passed away.
A power of attorney can make financial decisions while you are still alive and an enduring guardian can make health and lifestyle decisions for you when you are incapacitated. However, both of these roles end when you pass away and your executors then take over managing your affairs and administering your estate.
You can appoint the same person or people for all of these roles if you wish, or you can appoint different people in each role.
For example, you may want your family member who knows more about health to be your enduring guardian but a different person who is good with money to be your power of attorney, and then a different person entirely to be your executor; or, you may appoint one person whom you trust to handle all three roles.
For assistance with your estate planning, please contact our office on (02) 6331 2911 to get started. We're here to help!
Shanaya Stapleton | Solicitor