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Executors of wills and estates

Commonly asked questions about being an executor

If the deceased has no next of kin or if it is laid out in the will that the executor is to arrange the funeral, funeral arrangements must be paid for by the executor, who is then normally entitled to receive reimbursement from the estate of the deceased. If the deceased has funeral cover in place with their insurance agency, the funeral will normally be partly or wholly covered by their funeral bonds, so no money from the deceased’s estate may need to go towards the funeral cover.

An executor is the person who is specifically named in a will to carry out the deceased’s wishes and manage the estate. An administrator is the term given to a person who has been named to manage the estate by the Succession Act 2006 in cases where an executor has renounced their appointment as executor and not named an alternative appointment, or where a person has died without a will. Both an executor and an administrator both carry out essentially the same duties and responsibilities.

If you do not wish to act as the executor of the will or are unable to for whatever reason, then you can formally renounce the appointment and appoint another person (normally a close relative or friend that you trust), a lawyer, or the NSW Trustee and Guardian to be the executor of the will. This is a common option for many people, as it relieves a lot of the responsibility and stress involved with being an executor. If no alternative appointment is made, NSW law lays out in the Succession Act 2006 who will need to assume this responsibility.

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