Role of ex­ecu­tor

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS/OPINION -

Agree­ing to be an ex­ecu­tor is an im­por­tant decision, with the main role be­ing to carry out the terms of the will of some­one who has died.

The first thing an ex­ecu­tor may be re­quired to do is ob­tain pro­bate for the will.

Pro­bate is a cer­tifi­cate from the High Court au­tho­ris­ing the ex­ecu­tor to be­gin deal­ing with the es­tate.

Es­tates that do not have any sin­gle as­set over $15,000 do not re­quire pro­bate.

The cost of get­ting pro­bate can be re­cov­ered from the ex­ecu­tor per­son­ally if it was un­nec­es­sar­ily in­curred.

The lawyer in­volved will pre­pare the nec­es­sary doc­u­ments for you.

The ex­ecu­tor signs an af­fi­davit swear­ing that they will carry out their du­ties as ex­ecu­tor. Th­ese du­ties are: To ar­range for the fu­neral of the de­ceased. The man­ner of fu­neral is up to you as ex­ecu­tor to de­cide, but peo­ple of­ten put their pref­er­ences in their will.

Ex­ecu­tors usu­ally are guided by those wishes to­gether with the wishes of the im­me­di­ate fam­ily. Make a list of all the as­sets. You need to en­sure the es­tate has enough money to pay for the fu­neral and other ex­penses.

This may in­volve trans­fer­ring or sell­ing shares owned by the de­ceased.

You also close bank ac­counts and can­cel power, phone and other ap­pli­ca­ble ac­counts and deal with on­line as­sets like Face­book, LinkedIn, and email ac­counts.

Pay fu­neral ex­penses.

Th­ese have to come out of the es­tate be­fore any other ex­penses.

Pay tes­ta­men­tary ex­penses, debts and lega­cies.

Tes­ta­men­tary ex­penses will in­clude court fees, val­u­a­tion fees and other dis­burse­ments.

Debts in­clude the power, phone and other every­day bills.

Lega­cies are spe­cific gifts of money or prop­erty given un­der a will.

Dis­trib­ute the re­main­der of the es­tate to the peo­ple stated in the will.

This is done after you are sure you have paid all ex­penses re­lat­ing to the es­tate.

Keep ac­counts. The ex­ecu­tor is re­quired to keep proper fi­nan­cial records and file tax re­turns.

Another im­por­tant as­pect of be­ing an ex­ecu­tor is deal­ing with any claims against the es­tate.

Th­ese may be claims by part­ners or chil­dren who feel they have not been ad­e­quately pro­vided for in the will or peo­ple who are seek­ing to en­force a prom­ise or gift for ser­vices they per­formed for the de­ceased.

Th­ese must be re­solved be­fore the es­tate can be dis­trib­uted.

An ex­ecu­tor may dis­trib­ute an es­tate six months after pro­bate has been granted if no claims have been made.

Ex­ecu­tors should be care­ful if dis­tribut­ing be­fore the six-month pe­riod has lapsed, as they could then be held per­son­ally li­able for any claims against the es­tate.

The role of ex­ecu­tor can be time­con­sum­ing and you can­not charge for your time, un­less there is a spe­cific clause con­firm­ing you can ( nor­mally for pro­fes­sional ex­ecu­tors such as lawyers or ac­coun­tants).

If the es­tate in­cludes in­vest­ment or business as­sets, or over­seas in­vest­ments, it may take much longer to dis­trib­ute than the six­month pe­riod.

If an es­tate grants a life in­ter­est to some­one, the es­tate can­not be wound up un­til that per­son dies. The ex­ecu­tor’s role con­tin­ues un­til that time.

Of­ten a life in­ter­est in a cer­tain prop­erty is left to the sur­viv­ing spouse.

This gives them the right to live in the prop­erty for the rest of their life.

How­ever, gen­er­ally the lawyer han­dling the es­tate will do most of the work and min­imise any risk for you. They will en­sure ev­ery­thing is done prop­erly.

Fees for this ser­vice are paid out of the es­tate.

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