During probate, when the assets are not yet transferred to your beneficiaries, it is generally the executor’s responsibility to manage your estate. They must handle the estate responsibly and settle your affairs completely, in accordance with the probate law.
In Singapore, you can appoint someone as executor to your will as long as they are at least 21 years of age when the will takes into effect. They have to be of sound mind and are not bankrupt. As testator, you may pick someone you are related to or hire a professional executor like a lawyer or a trust company licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
In case your named executor is not willing or able to fulfil their role, the court will appoint a personal representative or an estate administrator to manage your estate.
Probate and estate administration
To begin the administration of your estate, your executor will have to apply to the courts for a . To abide by , the executor needs to seek approval from the probate court before taking some actions, and this can translate to several court filings and multiple court appearances.
As the one responsible for probate and estate administration, their duties include:
1. Identifying and gathering your probate assets
The executor must identify and locate your assets and gather them for safekeeping during the probate process.
2. Protecting and securing your property
Until the time when your assets and properties are transferred to the rightful heirs, it is the executor’s responsibility to secure such assets. This is especially critical for real estate properties, which may be subject to theft or break-ins if unattended.
Probate and estate administration entails insuring the assets against loss that may arise from nonpayment of taxes and mortgages.
3. Making decisions for your estate during the probate period
With the authority granted by the law to your executor, they will be able to make decisions such as selling or repairing property if it is in the best interest of the estate.
4. Paying debts and claims from creditors
The executor must identify your creditors, and this could be done in the same manner the assets were identified. It is the responsibility of the executor to notify the creditors so they could make their claims from the estate.
5. Distributing and closing the affairs of the estate
To finalize the probate procedure, the executor will inform the court of all actions and transactions made on behalf of the estate. After this, the court will grant them the executor authority to distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries named in your will, should the accounting be approved.
Proper managing of your estate is ensured by selecting the right executor to your will. Under the probate law, the executor will take on a great deal of responsibility, and not everyone will be up to the challenging tasks of probate and estate administration.
It is therefore important that you name someone you trust and who understands the in its entirety.
If you have been appointed as an executor, you may be asking ? With a lot of information on probate and estate administration available online, it is now easier to know how to go about the probate process.
In some situations, it is still best to seek the help of professionals, like a probate lawyer to assist you.
Here at Kith & Kin Law Corporation, we offer expert advice on to assist you on the best approach for your unique circumstances and needs.
To discuss how we can assist in managing your estate upon your death, with us today.