The administration of a deceased person’s estate can be complex and involves liaison with other professionals, including accountants and financial planners. Without collaborative advice and assistance managing these processes, there is significant room for error.

It can take some time to fulfil your role as Executor especially if there are challenges to the estate or other complexities such as farms, businesses or trusts set up as part of the Will. Timely advice is important.

Your legal obligations as Executor are not over until all the assets of the estate have been collected, estate debts have been paid, the balance of funds and assets are distributed to the beneficiaries and the final reporting to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been completed.

In some circumstances, the wishes in the Will outline continuing duties which are to be performed by an Executor, who may have the dual appointment of Trustee. A Trustee’s duties may include providing financial support and maintenance for young children or administering money bequeathed to a beneficiary until that person reaches a certain age or for a specified number of years.

We know exactly what is required and we are here to guide you every step of the way to ensure you meet your obligations including ATO reporting.

Your next steps…
Once Probate or Letters of Administration are granted you will be expected to complete the following steps:

  1. Defend the estate in Supreme Court proceedings, if the estate is challenged.
  2. Distribute the estate assets.
  3. Lodge the final tax return for the estate with the ATO.
  4. Remove the deceased person’s name from mailing lists.
  5. Following a grant of Letters of Administration in South Australia, the Executor must provide a report to the Public Trustee.
  6. If you are Trustee of funds for beneficiaries nominated in the Will, you will be responsible for managing those investments.

Our collaborative approach
We strive to streamline and simplify processes by collaborating with other professionals on your behalf. This usually includes obtaining the release of funds from the deceased person’s bank accounts/investments and giving instructions for accounting procedures to be completed and final tax returns lodged.

If you are the named Trustee for beneficiaries under 18 years of age and responsible for managing their bequeathed money/assets, we can provide assistance and referrals to investment professionals who can provide qualified and ongoing advice for you.

It is important to note that confirmation of entitlement for beneficiaries under 18 years of age may be several years down the track.

Added complications
If there is a challenge to the estate, as Executor you will be required to defend the estate in Supreme Court proceedings. Should this occur we will lead the way, offering professional legal counsel and timely advice about what you need to do and what your ongoing obligations as Executor are.

We understand this can be stressful for the Executor as well as other involved parties such as family members and beneficiaries. Rest assured we are experienced at managing the delicate discussions that are often required and we can liaise with family members and beneficiaries on your behalf to alleviate concerns and explain processes or delays that may prevent finalising the estate.

For the peace of mind that comes with a clear plan of action for managing a deceased estate, we invite you to contact us. The first step is to make a time to have a chat with a deceased estate solicitor from Kelly Kelly Legal. Our Estates Team has more than 30 years’ experience helping Executors and families, offering clear and compassionate deceased estate advice.

Contact the team on 08 8664 1162 or email to arrange a confidential meeting today.

On a personal note…
It is common for Executors to have no prior experience managing tax matters or to know how to deal with a deceased person’s tax situation. These matters must be completed before the estate can be finalised, and you can resume your life. We are here to help.

Kelly Morgan – Principal Solicitor

At Kelly Kelly Legal our ultimate goal is to deliver certainty by providing upfront estimates of fees (which, it is important to know, are paid from the estate, not by the Executor). Find out more about our team.

Our previous articles in our deceased estates series include managing the way forward and deceased estate documentation.

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You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on other content. Your use of this website or the receipt of this information does not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and Kelly Kelly Legal.

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