With the exception of those deceased estates with very limited assets, there is an administration process for deceased estates that includes the executor applying for a grant of probate. (A similar process applies for letter of administration where there is no valid Will).
The role of the executor is to identify the assets of the estate, pay any debts of the estate, eg income tax, and to distribute the assets in accordance with the Will. The executor will often need to consider taxation implications during the administration, eg by making certain the willmaker’s family home is sold in time to meet the main residence exemptions for capital gains tax and land tax.
The executor will also need to facilitate the establishment of testamentary trust provided for in the Will and to consult with beneficiaries regarding any discretionary powers given to the executor regarding the trusts. The length of time required to administer the deceased estate may be lengthened by a challenge to the Will or by the need to administer all or part of the estate until younger beneficiaries reach a passing or control age.
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