Are you an Executor to a Deceased Estate or an impending Executor, and feeling the pressure from family and other beneficiaries on how to manage the administration of the Estate? There are things that you can do to ease the stress and pressure that comes along with this often challenging responsibility. Here are 3 high-risk demands that are frequently directed at Executors by beneficiaries:

1. Obtain a grant of Probate as quickly as possible

Sometimes relatives or beneficiaries might push an Executor to go faster than they should. This is almost always the case because they will have their own interest at heart not stopping to consider your rights, duties and responsibilities as an Executor or other interests attached. Probate in South Australia cannot be applied for until 28 days after death. Urgent application can be granted in certain circumstances however special reasons need to be proven.

2. Take Shortcuts

In the administration of deceased estates, people who do not understand the intricacies of Probate law might attempt to persuade you of the merits of taking shortcuts by minimising the necessary information, documenting things properly or following correct procedures. These people will tempt you to take unnecessary risks for their benefit.

Before distributing the Estate, you need to make sure the full assets, liabilities, income and expenses of the Estate have been fully determined. If you don’t do this you are exposing yourself personally to significant legal and financial risk.

3. Honour the terms of the will

As an Executor you might hear the phrase “rewrite the will”, this is because others have an issue or disagree with the way the assets are to be distributed according to the will. This should be something that an Executor should take to with extreme caution, attempting this exercise should only be considered under the guidance of a specialist lawyer experienced in the administration of Deceased Estates. Distributing an Estate is a fine art, if it’s done too fast, too slow or without obtaining proper legal advice, as the Executor to the will you could become personally liable for some serious financial and legal consequences.

It’s important that you know you have options in how you deal with these types of issues. SHAW DR can help mediate between family members and extended family to ensure the right decisions are made, and a plan can be put in place to help ease your load in what is always a tough period.

Let’s Resolve!