I’ve been named executor, what do I do?

Before you start, make sure you understand what’s involved, because it can be more difficult (and expensive) to hand things over after you’ve begun.

Also, be aware:

  • you can be held personally liable if something goes wrong while you're handling the estate
  • this is likely to take at least 7 months, often longer, due to needing to, by law, wait at least 6 months before you can distribute the assets. 

What an executor does

Executors must follow the steps outlined in the Succession Act 1981.

Among other things, this usually includes:

  • obtaining probate (the legal authority to handle the estate) from the Supreme Court of Queensland
    • This involves advertising, and lodging paperwork with the Supreme Court. (The Public Trustee can do this for you for a fee.)
  • locating and notifying beneficiaries
  • verifying and protecting assets
  • confirming insurance of assets
  • collecting valuables and income
  • determining and paying debts and liabilities
  • preparing tax returns
  • obtaining income tax clearances
  • transferring assets
  • preparing financial statements and distributing the estate.

There’s a lot involved, and you may wish to hand over duties to a solicitor or the Public Trustee.

More information

Last published: 13/09/2019 6:21:26 AM