09 Feb Choosing the executor of your estate
It is undoubtedly important to have a will to ensure that your wishes are carried out when you pass away. The same could be said about appointing an executor to undertake your wishes as outlined by the will.
What is an executor and what are their duties?
An executor will essentially be responsible for distributing your estate to beneficiaries after you pass away. The role will involve obtaining probate, paying your debts, and distributing your assets according to the will. This is why it is immensely important to ensure the appropriate executor is selected in order for your intended wishes to be carried out. Sometimes, more than one executor is named. In such cases, they must work together in order to carry out the deceased’s wishes.
Who should be chosen as an executor?
The role as an executor should not be underestimated as it takes a great deal of responsibility and time. Considering who to select for the role of an executor for your estate, may vary depending on your personality, beliefs and values.
Before selecting someone as an executor, you should firstly make sure they are comfortable and knowledgeable of the level of responsibility you are asking them to undertake. Further, as a part of your selection process also consider the following factors:
- Geographical location: This is an important factor to take into account as the administration of the estate is difficult to carry out if the executor is located interstate or overseas. For example, a Grant of Probate is a court procedure that requires court documents to be signed as original documents and physically filed to the Supreme Court in the state where your assets are located;
- Age: The person selected should be over 18 years of age. It is also practical to choose someone who is younger than you in order to avoid the possibility of the executor losing capacity or passing away before you;
- Personality/Capacity: It is quite common to select a family member or friend as an executor, without considering the difficulty of taking on this responsibility when someone may be grieving. This is why you need to consider their intellectual abilities, trustworthiness, integrity and emotional stability.
How can &Legal help?
At &Legal, we have expertise in all areas of Inheritance Planning Law and provide expert advice to clients on issues such as simple to complex Wills, choosing an executor, leaving someone out of their will, providing gifts to beneficiaries and more.
Disclaimer: This information is for general consumption only and should not be construed as legal advice.