Administration of an Estate

The property that a person owns when they die is administered by the Executor (if there is a Will) or Administrator (if there is no Will).  The administration of an estate is an important responsibility and must be carried out with care.

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I have been appointed Executor. What do I do?

Our team are experienced in administration of estates and are here to guide you through your role and responsibilities as Executor. Being appointed as an Executor/Administrator of an estate can be overwhelming. Depending on the assets in the estate there may be a lot to do and it can seem like you don’t know where to start. Your role is to ensure the estate is administered correctly and to account to the Beneficiaries.

 

Duties of the Executor/Administrator include:

 

  • Arranging the funeral;
  • Preserving assets;
  • Paying debts;
  • Keeping accounts and records of all dealings involving estate assets;
  • Selling and disposing of property;
  • Distributing assets in accordance with the Will (or if there is no Will in accordance with the Administration Act 1969); and
  • Keeping the Beneficiaries up to date with the progress of the estate.

 

Where the estate is over $15,000.00, Probate or Letters of Administration may need to be applied for. Refer to these pages for further information. Applications to the High Court for Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration require the preparation of formal documents. If required, you will need to instruct a solicitor to prepare the formal application.

 

This is where our team can help. We understand it can be a stressful experience administering an estate after the death of a loved one. Engaging a solicitor who is experienced in estate administration will give you confidence the estate is administered correctly. We are here to guide you through this process.

 

There are three types of situations where claims against the estate can complicate matters:

 

  • Claims brought by creditors;
  • Claims challenging the validity of the Will;
  • Claims challenging the contents of the Will.

 

We will give you advice as to the steps you need to take to ensure your liability as Executor/Administrator is protected. If estate assets or funds are released too early, you would find yourself personally liable to account for the funds that have been released.

Make sure you understand your role as Executor/Administrator

Our friendly team are here to help. We can take the stress off your shoulders and assist in administration of the estate.