In general terms, an executor's duty is to take charge of the deceased's assets and property, see that the debts and taxes are paid and finally to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
You begin by finding out the assets of the deceased. The list could include a home, car, money, a bank or building society accounts, furniture, household appliances, jewellery, shares and other investments insurance policies, superannuation and holiday pay from work. If assets are not being sold but passed to beneficiaries, they may have to be valued to be fair to all beneficiaries.
You should prepare a list of the beneficiaries, their names and addresses and (if less than 18) their ages.
An advertisement is placed in the Sydney Morning Herald asking for any claims against the estate. These are debt claims. We will do this for you. We have to wait 14 days after the advertiesment is run to see if there are any claims.
Next we will apply to the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate. Probate is an order of the court saying that the will is valid and that the executor has the right to administer the estate.
When applying for probate you will need to sign a number of forms which we prepare. You will also need documentary evidence of death and may need proof of proper witnessing of the will, and details of assets and liabilities, among other things. These are all things we can advise on and help with.