Willed Australia

Executor Services: What you Need to Know

When you’re writing your Will, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is who you appoint as the executor. While most people choose to appoint their next of kin as their executor, you can decide to engage executor services instead.

This guide will discuss the benefits of using a professional executor service to administer your Will.

Who can conduct executor duties?

Typically, people will choose their next of kin to conduct executor duties. Although solicitors, executor services or Public Trustees can also perform the same obligations as an executor to avoid the risk of a conflict of interest.

Each state and territory has a government body, known as the public trustee, which provides executor services to the public. Furthermore, most estate planning services have years of experience to help get through administrative hurdles and obtain probate easier.

Next of kin vs executor services

One of the main differences between a personal executor and executor services are the costs involved. Typically, a personal executor, like a spouse or family member, does not get paid for their services unless it says otherwise in the person’s Will.

Executor services such as a solicitor or public trustee receive payment to administer your estate. The fees can also include account keeping, estate management, lodgment of tax return and financial planning services.

Benefits of professional executor services

There are several benefits to choosing professional executor services. These benefits will typically outweigh the costs you can accrue by choosing this route to manage your estate.

1) No interest in the will

Since a professional executor doesn’t have a vested interest in the Will, they can act impartially when managing and distributing assets. Otherwise, using a family member could result in conflict over how to divide an inheritance.

2) Knowledge in estate planning

Administering an estate in Australia involves dealing with government bodies, financial institutions, and service providers, which can be confusing and time consuming for family members and loved ones during an emotional time.

However, executor services understand what the process involves and what paperwork is required to administer an estate, which gets done quickly and adequately.

3) Understands what the executor role involves

Executor services understand that the responsibility and role of executorship involve important due diligence and processes. Furthermore, if not handled properly, there are potential consequences of neglecting their duties. However, paying for executor services is unlikely to cause unnecessary delays and further stress on you and your loved ones.

What to consider when choosing executor services

When choosing executor services, there are a few things to consider:

  • How many executors do you want?
  • Do you want to nominate a next of kin and a professional?
  • Do you want to use a solicitor, public trustee or executor service like Willed?
  • Do you want to engage a service solely for probate?

While most people assume using executor services can be expensive, the rise of online-based estate planning platforms like Willed make it more accessible than ever. Our team of professional lawyers and solicitors can provide clear instructions for what you need to do as executor and take the burden of the probate application out of your hands.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.

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Disclaimer: Willed is a technology platform that allows you to create your own estate planning solutions using our forms and other information. Willed is not a law firm and does not provide legal, financial, taxation or other advice. If you are unsure whether our estate planning solutions are suitable for your personal circumstances, legal advice should be sought from a law firm, such as Vault Legal.