You are here:

EXECUTOR’S DUTIES

  • Obtain the last Will of the deceased and review its contents
  • Arrange for the funeral and pay funeral expenses
  • Inform the beneficiaries of their entitlements and give them a copy of the Will
  • Place a notice in a newspaper about the death of the testator
  • Interview beneficiaries
  • Inspect properties and secure assets by changing locks on property and liaising with the insurance companies
  • Contact financial institutions and determine holdings and liabilities
  • Advertise for creditors of the estate in all states in which the deceased operated from
  • Obtain the deceased’s death certificate
  • Obtain proof of identity of all beneficiaries
  • Attend to searches of Australian share registries
  • Locate certificates of title
  • Compile a complete list of estate assets and liabilities
  • Apply for and obtain Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
  • Take instructions from beneficiaries about sale or transfer of assets
  • Bring in money from financial institutions
  • Sell real estate and other assets
  • Invest funds in an interest-bearing account
  • File Income tax returns up to the date of death
  • Pay debts of the estate – secured and unsecured liabilities
  • Finalise the deceased person’s Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs pensions and entitlements up to date of death
  • Arrange transfer of or finalise final accounts for telephone, electricity, gas, and other relevant services
  • Finalise and process final refund of contributions to medical insurance funds
  • Advise relevant financial institutions to guard against unauthorised use of bank accounts
  • Establish Trusts if the beneficiary is under 18, mentally incapable, or if there are instructions in the Will
  • Provide regular updates to beneficiaries
  • Work with beneficiaries to resolve disputes
  • Arrange legal defence of any claim made against the estate
  • Confirm entitlements with beneficiaries
  • Transfer assets to beneficiaries
  • Lodge final estate tax return
  • Prepare statements of account

Most likely, you would have been also appointed as a trustee under the will. The duties, powers and rights of trustees in Western Australia which I have listed next are governed by The Trustee Act 1962 (WA).

  • Duty to
    • preserve and invest trust property
    • obey the terms of the Will
    • keep accounts and supply information
    • act impartially
    • pay correct beneficiaries
  • Power to delegate
  • Power of sale
  • Powers of management
  • Right to seek advice and directions of the court
  • Right of reimbursement and indemnity