The Covid-19 pandemic is creating daily challenges for everyone. We remain open to assist you 24/7 and have systems in place to attend to your Wills & Estates matters during this time.
The highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and the serious complications which may arise in the elderly or people with underlying health issues is causing great concern in our community. It is often during these times that people turn their mind to what would happen to their loved ones if they became gravely ill or died. Many people feel compelled to create or update their Will and put in place Powers of Attorney and Powers of Enduring Guardian. We have safe processes in place which adhere to the Australian health guidelines to assist you with drafting and executing any wills & estates documents during this unprecedented time.
What is Estate Administration?
Estate administration is the process of gathering and managing a deceased’s assets, paying off their debts and distributing the estate assets to the nominated beneficiaries. An estate can take anywhere from 6 months to several years to administer depending on the complexity of the assets, the age of beneficiaries and whether any disputes arise between family members.
What duties do executors have?
Anybody can be appointed as an executor of a Will. It is often considered to be a sign of trust and honour to be nominated as an executor of a Will, however, administering an estate can be time consuming and stressful. This is because administering an estate involves tremendous work and responsibility. Executors have several legal responsibilities, but they also have rights—including the right to renounce their position as an executor on their own choosing.
If you have been named as an executor on a Will, Fourtree Lawyers can advise you of your rights and responsibilities.
When can the estate be distributed?
The estate should not be distributed until all liabilities owed by the deceased, including taxes, have been paid in full.
The estate also should not be distributed until the limitation period within which a Will or estate can be challenged has expired. In NSW a Will or an estate can be challenged within 12 months of the deceased date of death or upon application to the NSW Supreme Court, and subject to special circumstance this limitation period can be extended but only on the Order or permission of the Court (through seeking what is known as “leave of the Court to bring the application”)
If an executor distributes the estate within this limitation period and there is a challenge to the Will then the executor may be personally liable for any amount payable to the person who brings that challenge to the Court.
We are here to help
Our solicitors specialise in Wills & Estates matters throughout the Central Coast, the Hunter Region and Sydney. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the process from beginning to end to ensure your peace of mind.
If you would like assistance with your Wills & Estates Planning or wish to discuss a matter of concern to you, contact one of our Wills & Estates specialists on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week
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