While we should all be aware of the importance of having a will with executors that are willing to help process your affairs should you die, we still see a wide range of issues with these document when we engage with new families and businesses seeking advice.
The first issue we see is the executor is either no longer possessing the capacity to really handle the rigours of administering an estate or has already passed away or they have lost touch and they no back up executors listed.
Imagine your Aunt Fay (spinster) had her best friend and neighbour Ted as her executor. As the years rolled by, you, as a loving niece, end up being the enduring power of attorney (ePOA) as you now live close by.
Fay starts losing capacity and you locate the will at her request. You note Ted is the executor. You then make enquiries about Ted. He is younger then Fay but now in a nursing home located interstate.
What do you do?
You now need to have the will changed and this gets tricky if Aunt Fay is deemed not able to provide instructions.
Implications of being an Executor
Our estate planning contacts regularly remind us there can be financial implications for the executor and some common mistakes to avoid.
The 4 key mistakes as an executor to avoid are:
people named in the will lose money because you caused unnecessary delays.
property is damaged or destroyed if it wasn't properly looked after.
you make a mistake when giving money and belongings to people named in the will.
you don't pay debts and taxes from the estate before giving money to people named in the will.
What can you do?
Check your own will and those of families/loved ones who you think may have neglected this document because helping families avoid unnecessary pain and anguish and loss is a key part of our service.
If it needs changing contact a highly competent estate planner to review and correct if necessary.
If you require an introduction, Phillips Wealth Partners work with a panel of brilliant lawyers in Sydney, Canberra and South Coast who can help.