Wills, Estates and Powers of Attorney
Function and Obligations of an Executor

Function and Obligations of an Executor


Your estate planning decisions are among the most crucial ones you will ever make. Your executor plays a fundamental role in carrying out your estate plan. After you pass away, managing your estate can be difficult and time-consuming so you need the right person for the job.


You should choose an executor whom you think:


    • Is willing to act, who is of an age and resides in a place that will allow them to carry out the role capably;

    • Is trustworthy, well-organized, and possessing the level of business acumen required for the administration of the estate;

    • Is able to establish positive relationships with beneficiaries, promote family peace, and assist in mediating disputed matters; and

    • Is capable of performing the core duties of an executor, including adhering to the will and applicable laws.


In general, it’s a good idea to talk to your potential executors before the Will is written so they may learn about their responsibilities and indicate whether or not they are open to accepting the position.


In cases where one executor is unable or unwilling to function, another person may be named to fill in for them. This group of persons is known as the substitute executor/s. You should nominate an executor in your Will, however they are free to decline the position when the time comes. To ensure that your estate is properly administered, it’s imperative to name someone you have confidence in.


An executor may be required to perform the following duties:


    • Exercising diligence and care;

    • Preserving and gathering your assets;

    • Protecting the estate when it is the subject of legal action;

    • Contacting your estate’s beneficiaries to inform them of their rights;

    • Collecting appraisals for your assets and protecting them (with insurance or as otherwise necessary);

    • Where appropriate, apply for a grant of probate from the Supreme Court;

    • Avoiding any conflicts of interest and operating in the beneficiaries’ best interests;

    • Settling all obligations and debts, and keeping correct records of the estate accounts;

    • Keeping an asset and liability statement and making it available to beneficiaries upon request;

    • Administering the estate’s assets or, in the event of continuing testamentary trusts, allocating estate assets under the Will.


Managing an estate is not always simple, and if something goes wrong, the executor could face legal action. You should choose an executor you can rely on to carry out not only your requests but also their responsibilities to the best of their abilities.




The Wills and Estates team at HazeLegal frequently collaborate to help clients with issues like these. We can give you enlightening and excellent advice by combining our expertise in this legal field.


If you need our help, please contact  info@hazelegal.com.au or call (03) 9028 7603 for a free consultation.



This is a commentary published by HazeLegal for general information purposes only. This is not meant to be taken as particular advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or any specific situation or proposal, or get in touch with the writer at http://hazelegal.com.au before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories.

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