Generally speaking, the duty of an executor is to properly preserve the estate assets, to pay out all debts, and transfer the income and capital to those who are entitled to them under your Will or according to legislation or court order.

The executor must adhere to the terms of your Will or other trust document, act personally, and, above all, carry out all their duties and exercise all powers conferred on them in good faith.

To list all the duties of an executor is well beyond the scope of this article. However, it should suffice to note that there are many duties that an executor of a Will may have to fulfil which will depend upon the complexity of the Will and the property to be distributed. The duties normally include:

  • Finding the deceased person's assets;
  • Finding and contacting the people that were named in a will who are supposed to inherit money or property;
  • Keeping the assets safe until they can be properly distributed;
  • Making sure the property that is named in the will goes to the right people;
  • Wrapping up the deceased's affairs;
  • Setting up a bank account for the estate;
  • Continuing necessary payments such as insurance;
  • Paying off debts and creditors;
  • Paying final income taxes.

Serving as the executor of someone's last will and testament can be an honour and the most terrifying experience of your life at the same time.

By definition, an executor is entrusted with the large responsibility of making sure a person's last wishes are granted with regards to the disposition of their property and possessions.

Although the law does not require an executor to be a lawyer or other legal or financial expert, it does require than every executor fulfil their duties with the utmost honesty and diligence.

Generally, an executor is only entitled to a fee as compensation for administering the will. Most states mandate that this fee be reasonable given the size or complexity of the Will.

Please note tha answers provided are for your general information only and we ask you to call our office on 02 6331 2911 to obtain detailed legal advice for your individual situation.

Wills & Estates | Kenny Spring Solicitors