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Deceased Estates

If you are appointed as an executor in a deceased’s will our legal team can help administer the estate and protect you from personal liability.

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Deceased estates - why you need a family lawyer

Financial Assets

Helping you understand your duties as an executor

As the executor of a will, you are required to administer the deceased’s estate. Understanding your responsibilities, duties and everything that is required of you after a loved one passes away can be daunting. We are here to help and inform you of what is required of you to carry out the wishes of the deceased.

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Assisting you administer the deceased estate

Administering deceased estate on your own while mourning someone you cared about can take an emotional toll. A lawyer can assist you in administering this estate exactly as the deceased stipulated as quickly and smoothly as possible. We know how to facilitate the investment, management, and protection of physical and monetary estate assets pending distribution to help you to comply with your strict duties as executor. We also operate a trust account so you don’t risk mixing the funds of the estate with your own.

Dispute Resolution

Protecting you from any risks or liabilities

It is not commonly known that estates have both assets and liabilities. Under Queensland law, there is a specific order in which liabilities must be paid out. Paying out the deceased’s liabilities in the wrong order could result in a personal liability. We can help you ensure deceased estate liabilities are paid out at the right time in the right order. With the help of a lawyer, you can administer deceased estates without encountering undue setbacks, giving you the peace of mind that you will not personally be subject to a claim.

Frequently asked questions

Your appointment as executor under the deceased’s will means that you need to:

- Identify and locate the assets of the deceased;
- Pay out the liabilities of the estate;
- Manage the affairs of the estate; and
- Distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the will.
Executors must comply with a number of important duties and responsibilities throughout the estate administration process, such as:

- Carrying out the wishes of the deceased in accordance with their will;
- Acting in the best interests of the deceased and their beneficiaries;
- Maintaining proper financial records and other records relating to the estate administration;
- Protecting and maximising the value of the estate assets before distribution;
- Disclosing conflicts of interests to the beneficiaries and obtaining their written consent to relevant courses of conduct; and
- Communicating with beneficiaries to update them as to how the estate administration is progressing.

If there is more than one executor of an estate, all executors should ensure they jointly make any decisions relating to the estate administration.
Liabilities should be paid out in the following order:

1. Funeral expenses (often taking the form of reimbursement for the person who paid for the funeral).
2. Other testamentary expenses such as the legal, accounting and other fees required during the estate administration, including any incurred by you as the executor.
3. Secured debts of the estates such as mortgages or car loans.
4. Unsecured debts of the estate such as money owed to a local council.

Paying out liabilities in the wrong order may result in personal liability, so it is important to seek legal advice for this step.
An individual’s estate includes their assets, property, liabilities and debts. Deceased estate is the assets, property, liabilities and debts an individual has at the time of their death. The individual’s will contains instructions regarding how they would like their estate to be divided after their death.
You can obtain your loved one’s death certificate from the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages in your state.

Why choose us

We will tell you the truth at all times

We will be honest with you about your prospects of success, issues that arise or the commercial viability of your matter. The first time you come to see us, we will tell you whether you even need a lawyer.

We will respect you and your situation

Our job is not to judge anything you may have done. Our job is to guide your matter and actions moving forward to give you the best possible outcome for you, both legally and personally.

We will listen and understand your needs

We will hear not just what you want to achieve, but why you want to achieve it. We will tell you what you need to do to achieve the outcome you are after, legally, practically and emotionally.

We will stand by you all the way

Your matter doesn’t finish once a court order has been made. We will stay on your matter right up until all of the outstanding issues have been dealt with and the court orders are complied with.

We can help you through all aspects of wills and estates.

Forge Legal’s family lawyers are specialists in all areas of family law and can assist you with all legal matters of wills and estates.

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