Estate Administration Exec-Assist-logoEstate Administration service: what is that?

Executors over deceased estates are often appointed in family Wills because of the trust held for them by the testator. Some find themselves ill-equipped to manage the various responsibilities that come with that appointment. Estate administration can be compared to the maintenance of a trust account in many respects, with record-keeping an important element of the process. Appointment as Executor of an Estate is, in many cases, a ‘once in a lifetime’ situation, with no preparation for the responsibilities of the role.

An estate administration service provides support for the executor, ensuring that they properly perform the function with which they have been entrusted – and alerted to situations that will need the engagement of specialists, particularly lawyers with experience in the field.

Estate administration does not include the custodial responsibilities: it does however, include accounting for any financial transactions undertaken in the custodial process.

In the service offered through our associated company, Exec Assist Pty Ltd, we are able to provide guidance and advice to the executor as to what is needed to be attended; and where required, can undertake many of the roles on their behalf. Starting with identifying that the Will by which appointment has been made is both valid – and the most recent by the Testator, we can attend to application  for the Grant of Probate, arrange the requisite advertising, follow up on the correct identification of nominated beneficiaries, track down and document the relevant assets; and provide guidance on completing the wishes of the deceased.

What does it cost?

There are a number of providers of such services: most are based around legal firms or trustee companies – and because of the qualification and experience of the people involved in the work, can be quite expensive. Some charge ‘professional’ hourly rates, regardless of the simplicity of the task undertaken; others charge a percentage of the estate asset value, regardless of how much time is taken to perform the role.

Exec Assist Pty Ltd has been established to provide administration services to Executors of deceased estates. Our principals have been involved in the role as Executor of family estates in the past – and at the time of writing, have been providing this service to clients now for more than three years. We have accounting background, as well as financial planning experience – and are well placed to provide the services required for most estate administration engagements. Where there are matters that are beyond our professional competence, we are connected to a network of estate management specialists to whom we can refer those aspects of the administration for attention. Our service in this way, significantly reduces the overall cost of the estate administration, leaving more for distribution to the nominated beneficiaries.

The three key areas that our clients tell us they find helpful are –

  • a certainty about the starting point;
  • efficiency – and empathetic understanding – in the process; and
  • cost-effectiveness.

Exec Assist Pty Ltd – ‘estate administration services for executors’

If you – or anyone you know – suddenly find you/ they have responsibility for the administration of the Estate of a deceased relative or friend as the appointed Executor, this service is designed to take the confusion out of the process, particularly at a time of grief and sadness. The Exec Assist team is part of the Continuum Financial Planners team: enquiries can be made through this office (by phone, on 07 34213456); or by using the Contact Us page on the ContinuumFP website. Either way, you will receive prompt, compassionate attention.

(Originally published in August 2013, this article has been occasionally updated/ refreshed, most recently in October 2016.)