Selecting an executor of your will is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
Executors bear the responsibility of administering your estate after you die. It is generally a thankless position with tremendous legal duties attaching.
Their duties include; carefully reading and interpreting your will, dealing with your remains and organising a funeral if desirable, sending legal notices to various Government departments, advertising an intention and then filing for a grant of probate, contacting beneficiaries, collecting and protecting assets, resolving taxation implications, identifying and settling liabilities and finally distributing the estate to the beneficiaries in the most efficient effective manner, which varies considerably depending upon the estate’s contents, the beneficiaries means and desires.
Executors can be held personally liable if they fail to perform their duties.
Here are five things you should consider when picking the perfect executor:
1. Would your prospective executor be capable of effectively performing their duties while under the strain of grief and stress after your passing?
This is particularly relevant when appointing close family or friends. Failure of an executor to perform their obligations can result in personal liability for the executor. However, it can also place unnecessary pressure and stress on other family members and friends.
2. Is your prospective executor willing to take on the job?
This is important as executors do have the ability to renounce (aka resign from) the appointment, which may lead to the public trustee being appointed, which is generally not the best course.
3. Is your prospective executor of good health?
Is their age relevant? Choosing someone around your age or younger (such as a sibling or child) that is in good health will prolong the currency of your will. In the event of the death of an executor, it is essential that you seek advice as to whether you should make a new will.
4. Is your prospective executor organised?
There is nothing worse than an unorganised and tardy executor. Selecting an executor that is capable of handling the administrative function associated with a deceased estate will reduce the likelihood of problems arising.
5. Is your prospective executor likely to cause a dispute with beneficiaries?
In this event, it may be best to appoint another person, such as a friend or your solicitor.
Are you ready to prepare your will? Contact us today to discuss. Bennett Carroll Solicitors have offices located in Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
Freecall: 1300 334 566
Fax: (07) 3343 8664