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Tony, Michael and David Partners at ABKJ
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Executor’s Checklist

1

Locate the deceased’s Last Will & Testament

Confirm you have been appointed the executor of the estate and check whether the Will contains any wishes of the deceased concerning their funeral arrangements or burial.

2

Liaise with a funeral director regarding funeral arrangements ensuring you have confirmed the following:

  • The estate has sufficient funds to pay for the funeral. If the funds have been frozen or there are insufficient funds, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions;
  • The manner in which the funeral home will require payment and how/when payment is required to be made; and
  • Whether the deceased has funeral insurance or a pre-paid funeral plan.
3

Contact the beneficiaries

Provide them with a copy of the Will and inform them that you are in the process of administering the estate. As a guide, straightforward estates take between 6 – 12 months to administer.

4

Collate a list of assets and liabilities and determine what action is required.

In particular, consider the following:

Assets

  • Does the deceased have any bank accounts?
  • Does the deceased own any properties?
  • Does the deceased own any shares?
  • Does the deceased have an accommodation bond with a nursing home?
  • Is the deceased a shareholder in a company?
  • Is the deceased a beneficiary of a trust?
  • Does the deceased have any insurance policies?
  • Does the deceased have any superannuation?

Liabilities

  • Does the deceased have a mortgage?
  • Does the deceased owe any money to another person or organisation (i.e. a personal or car loan)?
  • Does the deceased have a credit card?
  • Does the deceased have any direct debit arrangements?
  • Does the deceased have any outstanding tax invoices such as medical bills?
  • Is the deceased up-to-date with his/her tax obligations?
5

Attend to the distribution of the estate.

In particular, consider the following:

  • Has six (6) months passed since the deceased passed away? If no, have you obtained written consent from each of the beneficiaries to distribute the estate prior to expiry of the six (6) month period (refer to the Frequently Asked Questions)?
  • Have you received notification from a beneficiary of their intention to file a Family Provision Application? If yes, we recommend you liaise with a solicitor before distributing the assets of the estate.
  • Have you identified all of the assets and liabilities of the estate?
  • Have you paid all of the liabilities of the estate (including payment for executor’s commission – refer to the Frequently Asked Questions)?
  • Have you paid and/or dispersed the specific bequests?
  • Have you paid the balance of the estate to the residuary beneficiaries (ensuring that the beneficiaries are not bankrupt and are old enough to receive the bequest)?

If you have any questions about these points you can read our Deceased Estate FAQs or contact us on 07 5532 3199.

Wills & Estate FAQs