You may have read my recent blog on Estate Planning – To Do or Not To Do! and have finally decided to do something about your Estate Plan…
Perhaps you have spoken to your Solicitor about preparing your Will, and one of the first questions that was asked of you was — ‘who have you chosen as your Executor?’ In answer to this question you may think to yourself…’hmmm?!’
Quite simply, an Executor is the person named in a Will to carry out the wishes of a person after they die. They organise to collect the assets of the deceased, pay the debts and distribute the property as set out in the deceased’s will.
Individuals that contemplate acting as an Executor to a deceased Estate must be aware of the personal exposure they will be subject to by agreeing to take on this role. Administration of the Estate must be carried out prudently to ensure that claims are not made against the Executor, therefore, individuals acting in these roles should put safeguards in place to protect themselves from personal liability.
You may think to yourself, who better to be my Executor than my trusted accountant – they prepare my tax return, know all about my financial affairs, are trusted and perhaps the best suited to fill this role.
Accountants are often invited by their clients to act as Executors to Wills. One of the first things that an accountant will review upon this request, is whether or not they are covered by their professional indemnity insurance should your estate be sued. The appointment as an Executor is considered a personal appointment, there is no law in place that stops an accountant accepting this appointment. However, it may be the case that their firm’s policies discourage
the acceptance of the role as your Executor.
Your accountant will consider the type of work that they do and whether or not they are able to take on this role.
If you would to discuss your Estate Planning needs, please contact Ferdinando (Fred) Scali to find out more about this service.
The above material is general in nature and should be taken as a guide only. There are differences in the law in different states in Australia and you should ensure that you are aware of your particular circumstances and the legislative requirements in your state.