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When you create a Last Will and Testament, it is important that you choose someone you trust to be your executor. An executor of a Will is the person nominated to take care of a deceased’s estate after they pass away.

What Powers Do Executors of a Will Have?

An executor’s main duty is to represent the person who has passed away and wrap up all of their personal, financial and legal affairs. This duty begins as soon as the person has passed away.

Depending on the complexity of the deceased’s financial and family circumstances, an executor duty generally includes:

  • Applying for a death certificate
  • Applying for a grant of probate
  • Providing death notifications to the Australian Tax Office, Centrelink and banks
  • Defending the estate against legal action
  • Paying any outstanding bills and debts from estate funds and arranging to have assets valued
  • Managing the deceased’s assets and property until they are distributed to beneficiaries
  • Supervising the distribution of the deceased’d property and assets
  • Handling property and asset inheritance, including who inherits real estate (as indicated in the Will)
  • Providing a full accounting of your administration of the estate to beneficiaries.


What Can’t an Executor Do?

Although an executor makes the majority of the decisions regarding the distribution of the estate, there limit to what an executor can do.

For example, an executor cannot: –

  • Change the beneficiaries in the Will
  • Stop the beneficiaries from contesting the Will
  • Sign the Will on behalf of the deceased, if it was not signed before the deceased passed away
  • Execute the Will before the person making the Will has passed away


If you need advice on administering a Will, Straits Lawyers are here to help. Simply send us an email at or give us a call on 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment for an online interview.


Alternatively, if you would like your Will to be drafted, Straits Lawyers are now offering online Will services. To access these services, simply click on the link –


Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.