EXECUTOR¶S DUTIES ± DONT EXPOSE YOURSELF TO CLAIMS
This is the final redmail of our three part series on executor¶s duties, estate planning andwills.The role of executor is an important one. When a deceased person¶s will nominates anexecutor, that executor is entrusted with the whole of the estate and carrying out thewishes expressed in the will.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
If the executor fails to provide adequate information to a beneficiary, the beneficiarymay bring proceedings against the executor for an order requiring full estate accounting.Such actions can obviously cause delay and incur legal fees in the administration of theestate. In some instances, the court may even order that the legal costs incurred by allparties as a result of the action be paid by the executor personally, so care should betaken to minimise the risk of being caught in this position.
WHAT ARE AN EXECUTOR¶S SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS?
The executor¶s role requires a person who:
Is willing to act, who is of an age and who resides in a location which will enablehim or her to carry out the executorship effectively;
Is trustworthy, highly organised and with a level of business acumen suited to thedegree necessary for the administration of the estate; and
Will carry out the fundamental obligations of an executor to obey the will and thelaw governing the role.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Accounting to beneficiaries can seem quite daunting. If you are appointed as anexecutor of a loved-one's estate, there are a few questions you should consider:
What does the beneficiary receive under the will?
If you were in the shoes of the beneficiary, what would you want to know?
ow much information are you required by law to provide to the beneficiary?
What is the worst that can happen?The level of information that you are required by law to provide to beneficiaries dependson what they receive under the will.We can advise an executor of their obligations to the various beneficiaries and assistthem with the preparation of the appropriate information to be included in an accountingto them.