Are you a Will Executor?
Have you been chosen by a family member or friend to be the Executor of their Will? This means that you have been given responsibility to manage their estate according to the terms they’ve outlined in their Will and to protect their assets under the various laws and rules that govern estate administration in Queensland.
An executor’s duties may include responsibilities such as:
- Organising the funeral, notices for the paper, flowers
- Locating the Will
- Obtaining a copy of the Death Certificate
- Making sure any property and assets are safe and secure
- Determining the value of assets
- Applying for Probate
- Paying insurance policies, debts and taxes
- Collecting monies belonging to the deceased from financial institutions and insurance companies
- Collecting debts owed to the deceased
- Lodging tax returns for the deceased and for the estate
- Selling properties and assets
- Reporting to beneficiaries
- Distributing the proceeds of the estate to beneficiaries
- Setting up trusts
Being an Executor can be overwhelming, particularly when you are grieving, but rest assured we can guide you through.
Do Executors get paid?
It depends. If you are a beneficiary of the will it is presumed that your benefit will cover your costs. If you’re not a beneficiary then you can apply to the Supreme Court for commission.
What happens if a beneficiary challenges the Will?
If someone has been left out of a Will, or have been unfairly treated in terms of the amount of their inheritance they may be able to make a claim against the estate.
Who can dispute a Will?
It varies from state to state, but some of the people who may be entitled to claim include people who had a relationship with the deceased such as:
- wife or husband
- defacto or same sex partner
- former spouse or defacto partner
- child, stepchild or grandchild
- parent of a child of the deceased
- parent, brother or sister
- someone who was financially dependent on the deceased
- carer of the deceased
This is a very general guide only so please contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
Is there a time limit?
Yes, there is. A disappointed beneficiary has only 12 months from the date of their death to make a claim. In certain circumstances, they might be able to obtain an extension of the time limit so please contact us to discuss your situation.
They can challenge a Will if you they that the will is a forgery or if the person lacked the mental capacity to make a Will. They can also challenge a Will if they believe that undue influence was brought to bear upon the deceased or if there was fraud involved.
How do I answer a claim?
First, contact a lawyer, who can assess the beneficiary’s claim and discuss the particular circumstances of their claim with you. We will then gather evidence, prepare documents and make/respond to any offers to settle. Many claims are settled through negotiation at this stage.
If the matter isn’t resolved then we can assist you with defending court proceedings. We can still negotiate and in some cases mediation will be required by the court.
Failing all else, we will proceed to a court hearing wherein the evidence will be presented and the judge will make a decision.
We can help
At every stage of contesting or challenging a Will it’s important to have sound, experienced legal advice. We have the skills to negotiate on your behalf to avoid costly court fees, but if it comes down to court we also have the skills to fight on your behalf.