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Choosing an executor of your will

This is one of the most important decisions to make when you write your will.

Your executor manages your estate and assets when you die and distributes them in line with your wishes. An executor can be a person or an organisation. They could be a family member or friend, a lawyer or a professional trustee like State Trustees. They are responsible for impartially carrying out the instructions in your will.

Who should I choose as my executor?

Choose someone you trust with the skills and time, as well as someone who is willing to manage complex legal and financial matters.

Some people choose a family member or a close friend as their executor. Although this is often seen as an honour, it can be a difficult and stressful task. This is particularly true if there is the possibility that the family may not agree with what is in the will or with each other.

You can name more than one person or a professional trustees company to be an executor, which can be useful as they might want to divide the tasks between them when managing your estate. It will be helpful if your executors are organised, good at handling paperwork and able to manage legal issues.

Above all choose a person or organisation you trust to be your executor(s). They are going to be acting on your behalf when the time comes, so you need to be assured the executor(s) you choose have the skills and expertise to focus on getting the best outcome for your beneficiaries.

Things to think about

When deciding who should be your executor:

  • Make sure the person you choose has the skills and time for it. Choosing a trustee company, such as State Trustees, gives you an impartial executor with lots of experience.
  • Make sure the person will be able to take control and carry out your wishes. You need to be able to trust that the right people will understand what you want.
  • Choose someone who can deal with a range of different people including lawyers, banks, accountants and your family. They might also need to deal with disputes between beneficiaries (the people who you leave things to in your will) or claims made against your estate.
  • It’s not always a good idea to choose an executor that is older or unwell, or who lives interstate or overseas. They may not be able to carry out their responsibilities after you die.
  • Ask the person you’re thinking of naming as executor if they’re happy to take on the role. Being an executor can come with a lot of responsibility and take a large amount of time. It can include making legal and commercial decisions and resolving disputes.

How we can help you

We can be an impartial voice at an emotional time. If you appoint us as your executor, we’ll manage everything so you can be sure the estate is handled professionally and with minimum fuss.

We offer estate administration from beginning to end. We act impartially at all times and focus on carrying out your final wishes.

We use our experience to get the best outcome for your estate.

We will also use the money from the estate to handle all outstanding debts and estate administration costs.

Contact us for an obligation-free discussion to gather advice on choosing an Executor or to understand how our services can benefit your estate. Call 1300 138 672.

Read more: How to appoint an executor of a will

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