When you are named as an Executor in a Will this is an indication that the deceased wanted you to conduct the affairs of the estate.
The Executor is responsible for administration of the estate from locating the Will, making funeral arrangements, ascertaining the property of the estate and distribution for beneficiaries. A person agreeing to be an Executor is also accepting strict obligations to the Australian Tax Office.
This may mean you will have to lodge a income tax return the same on behalf of the deceased person just as they would have been required to lodge.
The estate is treated as an individual in relation to paying tax however if there are tax losses, the availability of those tax losses dies with the deceased.
Some estates take longer to administer than others. Some estates could have assets that increase in value after the date of death. In this case a capital gain might be realised and may be taxable. The Tax Office does have discretion and can release a taxpayer from paying tax if the dependants of the deceased would suffer serious hardship if the Executor was required to pay a tax liability from the estate.
You may not be aware that a person has selected you to carry out their arrangements until after the person dies. Depending on the estate there are times where the Executor role can continue for many years. You can choose to not accept appointment as an Executor (renounce) but must do so immediately and there may be unforeseen consequences if there is no person who accepts the appointment.
Contact a Solicitor if you would like to discuss Wills or other estate issues.
If you have any questions you would like answered either confidentially, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.