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Executor's Responsibilities

If you are appointed the executor of an Estate it is crucial that you obtain legal advice in order to carry out your responsibilities efficiently and within the law.

Upon the death of a person an executor is the chosen to carry out the terms of a Will and to be responsible for the administration of the Estate of the deceased person and the final distribution of their assets.

Duties of an Executor include:

  • Locating the Will;
  • Making the funeral arrangements: this is usually done in consultation with the family. The Executor should ascertain whether there is a specific direction or wish of the deceased, whether expressed in the Will or another document, regarding the nature and place of burial or cremation;
  • Locating the assets and bringing them into the possession of the executor;
  • Protecting the assets: this includes ensuring that property is insured and the insurer has been advised of the death;
  • Obtaining a Grant of Probate: an Executor is given the right to administer the Estate through the Will, and a Grant of Probate is the formal evidence of this right;
  • Collecting valuables and income, including determining all assets and debts;
  • Distribution of the estate: this includes the payment of legacies and specific bequests, and transfer of assets to beneficiaries;
  • Preparing accounting and tax information for beneficiaries;
  • Final accounts: preparing a final statement for beneficiaries

The executor must act at all times with care and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The executor must endeavour to administer the Estate in accordance with any direction or power in the Will as quickly as possible including distribution, or even a partial distribution, to the beneficiaries where for some reason a complete distribution is not immediately possible.

Being an executor is an important job and carries great responsibility.

The team at Ferguson Cannon Lawyers can assist executors in all aspects of Estate administration to ensure the executor carries out their responsibilities lawfully and efficiently.

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