This Law Week (12 – 18 May) NSW Trustee & Guardian is encouraging people to think about their choice of executor when making or updating their Will and not simply select their partner or their best friend for the role.
To help you make the right choice when appointing an executor, the organisation has also released a free booklet that answers the most common concerns about administering deceased estates – Guide to Executorship and Probate.
The booklet not only provides details of the steps an executor has to follow when carrying out the directions of a Will, but more importantly encourages people to think about their choice of executor when making or updating their Will and not simply select their partner or their best friend for the role.
Newspoll research* shows husbands, wives and significant others are most likely to be chosen as executors of Wills, while 34 per cent of people would choose a friend.
“We think that appointing a relative or friend as our executor is a compliment to them – but it can be a time-consuming and onerous role and not one most people would take on if they had a choice,” said Ruth Pollard, Assistant Director Legal Services at NSW Trustee & Guardian.
“If someone asks you to be executor you should really consider whether you have these skills and whether you can do the best possible job for them, and carry out their wishes including whether you understand the legal, financial and taxation implications that come with the role, as well as the risks and responsibilities.”
Things an executor must think about include: identifying assets; maintaining or realising investments such as share portfolios; maintaining or realising real estate; sorting through superannuation selling a business; setting up trusts; dealing with taxation issues; managing litigation and much more.
“On top of this there are skills like dispute resolution that may be needed and quite often are when it comes to administering an estate. Executors must remain independent in any disputes between beneficiaries, not favouring any above the others.”
Finally carrying out the duties of an executor may also add unnecessary stress to someone already grieving.
“You don’t need to choose an individual to be your executor. In fact there are lots of benefits of choosing a trusted organisation like NSW Trustee & Guardian to be your executor. We have the legal, financial and taxation expertise and we are an independent and impartial executor. We have executed hundreds of thousands of Wills in our 100 year history and, as you can imagine, have dealt with all types of estates and family situations.
“Importantly we will always be there for your loved ones. If you choose an executor and they pass away you need to remember to update your Will and appoint a new one,” said Ruth.
“Best of all there is no cost to make your Will when you appoint NSW Trustee & Guardian as your executor and you can update it throughout your life as your circumstances change. Fees apply on estate administration only.”
There are 18 NSW Trustee & Guardian branches around the State that are staffed with qualified legal and financial experts who are available to make or update your Will, and you can also make a Power of Attorney. A Will looks after your assets after you die a Power of Attorney looks after them while you are alive.
To answer some of the more commonly asked questions and to explain the role of an executor and process for administering a deceased estate the new Guide to Executorship and Probate is now available from NSW Trustee & Guardian. To request your free copy please email email@example.com or phone (02) 9240 0797.
For more information about why you need a Will, some of the things you need to consider before you make or update your Will, and information on the role of executors, visit www.tag.nsw.gov.au. To make a free appointment with NSW Trustee & Guardian please call 1300 14 24 34.
[related_ad category=”997″ max_size=”3″ title=”Related Offers”] [related_ad category=”5″ max_size=”3″ title=”Related Stories”]