Executor services

What is an executor?

Your executor is responsible for administering your estate once you die. There’s a lot involved, and your executor can be held personally liable if something goes wrong while they're handling the estate. You can nominate us as your executor, or hand over to us if you have been named an executor in someone’s Will.

What an executor does

Executors must follow the requirements outlined in the Succession Act 1981.

Duties may include:

  • locating and examining your Will
  • obtaining probate from the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • locating and notifying beneficiaries
  • verifying and protecting assets
  • confirming insurance of assets
  • collecting valuables and income
  • determining debts and liabilities
  • preparing tax returns
  • obtaining income tax clearances
  • transferring assets
  • preparing financial statements and distributing the estate.

What to consider when choosing your executor

Choosing the executor of your Will is almost as important as the Will itself. Some things to consider include:

  • Does your executor have the necessary skills, and are they willing and able to administer your estate? (And will they be there when needed?)
  • If you appoint a family member or loved one as your executor, you may place an extra burden on them at a time of stress, grief and loss.
  • Will your choice of executor cause conflict among your beneficiaries? (It may be wise to appoint an independent executor.)
  • If something goes wrong with the administration of your estate (for example if property is damaged and not adequately insured), your executor may be personally liable for it.

What happens if the Queensland Public Trustee is acting as executor, and is also acting for other potential beneficiaries?

Where the Public Trustee is appointed for a person with impaired decision-making capacity, the Public Trustee is required to consider whether a claim should be made against the estate. This consideration process is undertaken regardless of whether the Public Trustee made the Will, or is acting as executor of the estate.

If the situation arises where the Public Trustee is acting in multiple capacities, the Public Trustee has a range of policies in place to support this decision-making process and ensure all interests are considered independently of each other.

Further details on these procedures can be found:

Benefits of appointing the Public Trustee as your executor

  • We are experienced, independent and impartial. (We’ve been doing this for over 100 years.)
  • Our staff are compassionate, empathetic and skilled at handling estates during times of grief and family conflict.
  • We charge a competitive fee based on the work involved, not a percentage commission to finalise your estate. 

Other times the Public Trustee may handle an estate

We may also handle estates where:

  • the executor chooses not to do it
  • the executor is not a resident in Queensland, has died or does not act within three months
  • there is no Will and the Public Trustee is requested to do so by the next of kin.

As one of the largest administrator of estates in Queensland, intestate estates are often referred to the Public Trustee by both individuals and professionals.  We have a specialist Intestacy Entitlement team who actively trace relatives and beneficiaries in order to determine those persons who are entitled to benefit from an intestate estate.  Our team of professional staff are experts at developing family trees and tracing next of kin throughout Australia and overseas.

How much does it cost?

Our fees are based on the complexity of the estate and the steps involved, regardless of the overall value of the estate itself. Use our tool to work out an estimate of the potential fees for the Public Trustee to administer a deceased estate.

Further information

If you have any questions, we’re happy to answer. To learn more about executor services, you can:

Talk to us about how we can help.

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Last published: 6/07/2023 1:53:25 AM