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John Mann providing Q & A on the Chris Smith Show discussing Wills - 17 April 2021

John Mann providing Q & A on the 2GB Chris Smith Show discussing Wills 17 April 2021


CS-Chris Smith/JM – John Mann /C1,2,3, etc – Callers

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Read the transcript below:

CS       I’ve got an email here from Nola, Nola asks why do I need an executor?

JM       The executor is the person or persons we name in our will to represent us, in other words, another word for an executor is a legal personal representative. Effectively they are the deceased person and they stand in their shoes, how to deal with their estate. The executor’s tasks are to get probate of the deceased’s will, to pay the deceased’s debts and then to distribute the estate according to the way the will has been written, so it is a very essential choice and the choice of whom you trust to do this is very important. 

CS       Okay, so take time Nola in choosing the right person. So what us probate?

JM       Probate is the proof to the Supreme Court that the will that you have left is your last will, and it’s been made according to law. What happens is the executor makes application to the Court to prove the will and assuming the Court grants that, which ordinarily they do by a paper process, they issue a document called a probate, the probate is the executor’s right to deal with the assets of the estate and carry out the administration of the estate. So with a probate for example, the executor can go to the bank and collect the deceased’s bank accounts so that he can pay some bills from that and then distribute the money amongst the beneficiaries.

CS       So it’s an affirmation that the will that is identified is confirmed as being able to be acted upon.

JM       Correct, yes.

CS       Now Nola also asks are there any taxes or duties to be paid from her estate?

JM       Direct taxes like death duties have been abolished for quite some years, but there are some hidden traps that we’ve got to consider in relation to taxation, now where a person dies and owes tax, that’s a debt of the estate and is to be paid out of the assets of the estate. From the time the persons dies the executor’s obliged to lodge tax returns in the name of the estate and the executor is personally responsible for the lodgement of those returns and the payment of tax. Now obviously anything like that will come out of the estate but nonetheless it’s something executors got to be aware of. Initially, if there are assets in the estate like real estate or shares, executors have to be very cautious as to whether there will be consequences for capital gains tax when those assets are sold or might be distributed to tax advantage people or people who live overseas.

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