Justine Aubin: Hi, everyone. I’m Justine Aubin and I’m a lawyer here at Turnbull Hill Lawyers. I practice predominantly in contested estates. Today I want to talk to you about the duties of an executor of an estate in New South Wales. I do understand that it’s a very difficult time and it’s a very difficult position to be in to be an executor. You have just lost a loved one. You do, however, need to arrange a few things. The first thing you really should be doing is arranging the funeral. That should be done as soon as possible after death. Just for your awareness, usually, the costs and expenses of the funeral are paid by the estate.
The second thing that you should be doing, is trying to locate the last original Will of the deceased. Sometimes it can be hard to locate if it’s not held with a solicitor or with a loved one like a family member. You may need to do some searches. If you have issues with that, you may like to contact your lawyer.
Once you’ve got a copy of that last Will then you will need to obtain probate. What is probate really? Probate is the legal process of proving the validity of that last Will. Once you’ve got the last original Will and that you’ve located the beneficiaries and made sure that the beneficiaries are alive, then the next thing you do is that you have to obtain a grant of probate.
Once you’ve got your grant of probate, then you will actually be in a position to administer the estate. Before a grant of probate, essentially, the estate assets are frozen so you can’t do anything or should not be doing anything. There are a number of other steps that you do need to arrange as an executor, however, I will address those in a further video.
In the meantime, if you do have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Turnbull Hill Lawyers. Thank you.