Two weeks ago, we discussed the duties of an Executor and in particular the responsibilities to the Australian Taxation Office when administering an estate. Today I will discuss what an Executor is.
An Executor is a personal representative who oversees the administration, management and distribution of the deceased’s estate. There are two types of personal representatives firstly the Executor and secondly an Administrator appointed by the Court. An Executor is chosen by the deceased person by appointment in the Will of the deceased. If the deceased person did not leave a Will or the appointed Executor is unable or unwilling to accept the job then the Court will appoint an Administrator to be the personal representative.
It’s the personal representative’s task to see to it that the assets are gathered in, the debts and liabilities of the estate are paid and distributions (gifts) are made in accordance with the terms of the Will or scheme of intestacy. It is also their task to oversee any testamentary requests, for example the disposal of the body or the creation of trusts.
In general the office of Executor can only be carried out by a person, or persons appointed under the Will, although in some circumstances appointment can be by implication.
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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.