Being an Executor and managing a deceased loved one’s estate

The death of a loved one can be an extremely distressing and traumatising time. Nothing can prepare you for their passing even if it was expected. However, being nominated as an executor in their Will means that you must take care of administering their estate in accordance with their wishes.

It is hard to know where to start and it can appear overwhelming especially when you are trying to cope with enormous grief. But there are normally a lot of things that need to happen and to make it easier we have listed some of them below (not necessarily in order):

  • Arrange to be provided with the death certificate. You will be asked to provide copies of this to most of organisations that you will need to deal with.

  • Notify organisation’s like:

  1. utility providers,

  2. government agencies e.g. Centrelink, Medicare and the ATO and the electoral commission,

  3. superannuation funds,

  4. phone and internet providers; and

  5. banks/financial institutions/ lending companies

Each organisation will have their own rules and regulations on what you need to do and what forms will need to be completed. In some instances, the next of kin is able to organise these things, bearing in mind the next of kin is quite often the executor in any case.

  • Redirecting mail and cancelling subscriptions if applicable.

  • Locating the Will and planning the funeral or memorial and claiming funeral insurance if applicable.

  • Memorialising social media accounts if applicable. Details of how to do this should be on their website.

  • Applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. If the deceased person left a valid Will and there is real estate, or the value of the estate is over a certain amount you will need to apply for a Grant of Probate. If the deceased person didn’t have a Will, you will need obtain Letters of Administration. Please seek legal advice if you are unsure what you need to do.

  • Claim superannuation. Most Australians who have worked will have a superannuation fund. You will need to contact them to notify them of the death and complete their required documentation.

  • Claim life insurance if applicable.

  • Set up a Testamentary Trust account if applicable.

  • Sell or transfer property owned by the deceased if applicable.

  • Pay all final debts and bills using money from the estate.

  • Distribute the estate in accordance with the deceased wishes.

Finally make sure you get assistance and have support to help cope with grief after the passing of a loved one. Everyone copes and grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way. It is important to reach out if you need help.

At Wills & Estates we can help you with administering your loved one’s estate. Our qualified lawyers can offer professional tailored advice and its’s all done remotely. The first two appointments are free and no-obligation where you will have an opportunity to meet our lawyer and find out what the best legal strategy is for your personal situation.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact us today!

Phone: 1800 22 33 90


Or request a free call back on our website