Nothing is required of you until the person dies. Then your duties as an executor commence. The main duty is to carry out the terms of the deceased’s Will.
The first thing you will be required to do is to obtain probate for the Will. Probate is the High Court’s authority for you as the executor to deal with the estate. Estates that have a value of less than $15,000.00 do not require a grant of Probate.
The lawyer who is involved with the estate will assist preparing all the necessary court documents.
Once Probate has been granted it is your duty to pay all the deceased’s debts and gather in the assets.
Once assets are realised and debts and testamentary expenses are met the executor can distribute the estate in accordance with the deceased’s wishes.
An executor may distribute an estate six months after Probate has been granted if no claims are made. Executors distributing earlier than six months should be mindful that they could be held personally liable for any claims made against the estate.
If the estate consists of business assets or overseas investments and shares then it may take longer to distribute the estate.
Some Wills provide for a grant of a life interest to someone. If this is the case the estate cannot be wound up until that person dies.
Clearly being an executor is an important position. We here at Willis Legal can assist you through that process and minimise any risk for you. Lawyers’ fees for assisting in the administration of an estate are paid for by the estate.

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