What is an Executor?
When someone with a Will becomes deceased, in their Will they will appoint a person of their choosing to become an Executor. This person is supposed to oversee the administration of the estate and property of the deceased. The most common outcome of this will be that an Executor will be responsible for the accumulation of the deceased’s assets, and to pay off the debts this person may have had. The remaining parts of the Will are then to be distributed to any and all of the beneficiaries of the Will as dictated by the deceased. Should there be no Executor, or should they be unable to perform their duties to a reasonable accord, then a Public Trustee will be responsible instead.
It is a normal occurrence among legal proceedings that a Will may be contested by someone who is considered eligible through legal charges. If you are an Executor of a Will that happens to be being contested at the moment, it is in the best interest of your legal proceedings and safety to contact a lawyer for Executors and Wills; otherwise, you could find yourself in a lot of danger unbeknownst of your rights and obligations.
Do you need an Executor?
It is critical and necessary to take judgment of the context and circumstances to understand whether you may need a lawyer or not as an Executor. If the estate that has been given to you is relatively simple to take care of and void of complications, then it may be a straightforward job to pursue, in which case you may not need to seek any professional or expert opinion at all. However, if you are still anxious about the process, a considerable amount of people still seek professional help from lawyers to simply watch them and their individual progress for extra safety and to relieve anxiety. If the circumstances do look even remotely complicated, then it truly is in your best interest to contact a probate lawyer for Executors and Wills. A misstep or small mistake by an executor could jeopardise the progress of the estate for months or even longer.
Circumstances where you will or won’t need a probate lawyer you might consider:
- Is the deceased’s property transferrable without the need of a probate?
This is dependent on how the deceased person approached their Will prior to their death. If they had organised it in such a way that their assets were transferrable without the need of a probate, then you likely will not have to go to probate court. If the estate assets are identified as jointly owned, then probate is most likely unnecessary.
- Does the estate contain complicated elements such as a business?
If the estate does have a business within its possession, then it is recommended that professional and expert advice is undertaken. These comprehensive elements often require expert help because of the nature of managing, appraising and even selling the business.
- Does the estate have enough assets to pay its debts?
In the case whereby the estate does actually have enough assets to pay its debts, then there are no issues and legal advice from lawyers is not necessary whatsoever. However, should there be a case whereby the estate does not, in fact, have enough money to pay its debts or taxes, then it is highly recommended to consult legal advice for lawyers for Executors and Wills. It is then important to recognise where the money should go and which creditors or inheritors have priority over others for the money.