Being an Executor of an Estate

Being named as executor in someone’s Will means the deceased has entrusted the executor to manage their estate, perhaps together with another person.
An executor’s duty is to take charge of the deceased’s assets and property, see that the funeral and administration expenses as well as debts and taxes are paid and to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the Will.

If you have been named the executor or administrator of an estate, the Estate Planning team at Baldock Stacy & Niven can guide you every step of the way. We will provide clear answers to your questions and help resolve any issues that may occur during the probate process.

A Grant of Probate is an order of the Supreme Court saying that the Will is valid and that the executor has the right to administer the estate. Most assets cannot be transferred to the beneficiaries without a Grant of Probate.

Baldock Stacy & Niven can assist you in applying for a Grant of Probate by administering the requirements in the process.

On your behalf we will

  • advertise the application in a prescribed form in a local newspaper.
  • lodge a formal application with the Court with an affidavit containing
  • some details about the Will
  • some details about the deceased
  • death certificate
  • details of the assets and liabilities of the deceased
  • details of the beneficiaries

Once probate has been granted, the executor collects the deceased’s assets and take steps to pay the funeral and administration expenses and any debts which the deceased owed. Baldock Stacy & Niven can do this on your behalf.
The Supreme Court regulates the costs of the legal work required for a grant of Probate by the court. Costs are on a sliding scale and are based on the value of the estate.

When all of the assets have been identified, and all debts have been paid, and the executor has published a second notice requiring anybody with a claim against the estate to provide particulars, the remainder of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

A Grant of Probate usually takes about 12 weeks and distribution of the estate normally is completed within 4 to 6 months.

The Estate Planning team at Baldock Stacy & Niven can inform you in detail about your responsibilities and assist you to complete your duties as an executor.

If there is no Will, there will be no executor.

However, if you are a relative entitled to the whole or part of the estate of the deceased, Baldock, Stacy & Niven can on your behalf, apply to the Supreme Court for Letters of Administration.

Once granted, these make you a personal representative of the deceased and you can then proceed in much the same way as an executor.

When all of the assets have been identified, and all debts have been paid, and the executor has published a second notice requiring anybody with a claim against the estate to provide particulars, the remainder of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

A Grant of Probate usually takes about 12 weeks and distribution of the estate normally is completed within 4 to 6 months.

The Estate Planning team at Baldock Stacy & Niven can inform you in detail about your responsibilities and assist you to complete your duties as an executor.

You may also be interested in: Will and Estate Disputes