The Complex Duties of an Estate Executor or Administrator

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The duties of an Executor or Administrator of an estate can be complex.

It is essential that an Executor or Administrator of an estate, (The Legal Personal Representative “LPR”) engages an experienced Solicitor to assist in the administration of a deceased’s estate.

There are many issues that a LPR may face and it is impossible to deal with them all in a short article of this kind, however they may include the following.

Tax (as always in life) is also a concern facing us on death as well, and a LPR must comply with certain obligations.  For example, a LPR generally is required to sell a deceased’s principal place of residence within 2 years of the death to enable it to be exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT).  The Tax office however can extend this time to 3 years in certain circumstances, eg. Extremely difficult estate to administer – ownership of the property or the will was challenged etc.  However, reasons such as concerns re marketing conditions, undergoing renovations, slow decision making etc will likely not be accepted.

Further issues facing a LPR re taxation can also be worrying.

If a deceased has a clean tax “bill of health” then a LPR has limited responsibilities.

A LPR is usually required to submit tax returns on behalf of an estate.

Certain guidelines have been drafted by the ATO regarding the administration of smaller estates or less complex estates (under $5 million).

In order to ensure that a LPR is not held responsible for a deceased’s tax debts and that an estate is not distributed until all tax issues have been dealt with it is essential that a LPR is property advised on all his/her responsibilities.

Clelands Lawyers Adelaide has been a prominent firm acting in estates of all sizes for over 100 years and continues to specialise in this field. For peace of mind it is prudent to engage us not only in drafting your will, but also in administering your estate when the time comes!

For all your will and estate matters, contact Charles Beresford, Sue Biggs or Philip Foreman.

Leon McEvoy