Wills and Probate: Responsibilities of an Executor and How to Handle Trustee Issues

Wills and Probate: Responsibilities of an Executor and How to Handle Trustee Issues

If a loved one has appointed as an executor for his or her will, it’s important to note that this individual will be responsible for a wide range of undertakings when it comes time to distribute the estate:

  • Finding the written will
  • Making funeral arrangements and facilitating the burial or cremation
  • Conferencing with loved ones, family members, and business partners
  • Instructing documented beneficiaries and identifying the immediate needs of the deceased’s family
  • Preparing statements of the deceased’s assets, possessions, and properties
  • Attending formal legal hearings
  • Applying to the Supreme Court for a grant of probate
  • Distributing and disbursing the deceased’s entire estate
  • Managing and administering long-term assets, including investments and trusts

However, if the executor dies or becomes incapacitated, the courts will decide to appoint an alternative executor, which usually ends up being an individual outside of the family.

Alternatively, many people assign a public trustee in NSW to handle the will according to intricate laws and disbursement regulations, which is a decision that comes with its own unique set of concerns.

What Is the Role of a Public Trustee?

In its simplest sense, a public trustee is an organisation that administers and regulates properties, possessions, and assets for the financial benefit of a third party:

  • Managing disputes and inheritance disagreements
  • Regulating long-term trusts created by the deceased’s will
  • Administering overseas assets and handling tax issues
  • Mitigating liability and risk exposure for beneficiaries
  • Facilitating will contestations
  • Strict adherence to the law and any governmental stipulations

But as you might imagine, these organisations tend to handle situations in an impersonal, overly-invasive fashion and they have been known to ignore the specific wishes of loved ones in favour of antiquated legal codifications and fine print.

In this regard, issues with NSW public trustees are fairly common and widespread as they tend to include the following:

  • Improper collection of income within the estate
  • Late bill payments and exorbitant penalties
  • Unfair property management strategies
  • Unjustified beneficiary exclusions
  • Overpriced management fees
  • Delayed asset release and inequitable sale of possessions

How Can a Lawyer Help with Public Trustee Problems?

If you’ve been struggling with public trustees and their underhanded estate management tactics, the onus is on you to find a reputable solicitor to help file a claim and right the wrongs. With a knowledgeable and versatile lawyer by your side, you’ll be able to handle a myriad of complex and/or multifaceted legal situations:

  • Family Provision claims
  • Will disputes and contestations
  • Intestacy and partial intestacy scenarios
  • Life insurance claims
  • Superannuation claims
  • Probate assistance
  • Public trustee claims and settlements
  • Power of attorney disputes

How Can I Find a Trustworthy Lawyer?

Navigating the convoluted court system will require a resourceful team of experts and a deft approach, particularly when dealing with emotionally-fuelled situations and unfair trustee incidences. This is why you’ll have to ensure that your legal team can tout the following traits and characteristics:

  • More than 30 years’ experience with handling public trustee claims
  • No-win, no-fee promise on all work undertaken
  • Free-of-charge comprehensive case assessments 
  • Hassle-free consultations and introductory evaluations
  • Easily accessible portfolio on the company website, replete with past outcomes and case studies
  • Easy-to-use online request form with optional e-mail enquiries

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