3 Things You Shoul Know As An Executor Of A Deceased Estate

Law Blog

Are you an executor to a deceased estate? The executor is a critical aspect in managing a deceased estate. Typically, they are charged with implementing the wishes of the testator as outlined in their will. Below are a few things that you should know as an executor. 

1. You Do Not Have To Be The Executor

Your personal circumstances could compel you to relinquish your role as the executor. For example, it could be you are sick, incapacitated or out of the country. Alternatively, you could have severed your relationship with the testator or some beneficiaries and therefore think that you are not the best fit for an executor. In this case, you have an option to renounce your role as executor. If you are a beneficiary of the estate, relinquishing your duties as executor does not affect your inheritance. To renounce your executor duties, you will need to lodge a renunciation of probate document at the relevant courts in your state. It is important to note that you cannot relinquish your duties once you have assumed the role of executor.  

2. Filing For Probate

Probate is a court process that allows the executor to manage the estate and distribute it to the beneficiaries. Typically, once you file for probate, the court will award you with a grant of probate. You will use this document to access, manage and transfer the deceased's assets. You have a few months to apply for this document. An explanation is required if you take longer. 

3. Seek The Advice Of A Wills And Estates Lawyer

A will and estates lawyer can guide you with the estate division process. A critical role of the lawyer is helping you understand the provisions of the will. Typically, wills contain a lot of legal jargon that may not be easy to understand. The lawyer will interpret these terms and provisions to ensure you conduct your work according to the testator's wishes. 

There are cases where wills disputes occur. It is especially the case if a beneficiary thinks that the testator's wishes were unfair to them. Alternatively, a testator could claim that the will is not valid. In this case, you will require a lawyer's insight on how to handle the issue. 

The lawyer will also inform you about your limits. For example, you may have twelve months to finalise your work. If you take longer, a beneficiary could take you to court. As an executor, you are not entitled to a salary if the testator did not include such a provision in the will. 

You now have a comprehensive understanding of your duties as an executor. A deceased estates lawyer can help out with every aspect of your duties. 


27 May 2021

Unknown laws you might not know

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