I am the Executor of a Deceased Estate
What if someone is owed money?
Who has to pay the Creditors?
Do I have to pay the bills?
Under Queensland succession law, an executor of a deceased estate must pay all creditors of the deceased. Once certain conditions are met, these bills or creditors can be paid from funds in the Estate. They are not payable by the Executor, they are bills of the Estate. These payments must be made before making a distribution of the estate’s funds to the beneficiaries named in the Will, or if there is no Will, to the next of kin under the rules of intestacy.
But what does intestacy mean? …… Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies without a valid will. This may also apply where a will has been made, but only applies to part of the estate; the remaining estate forms the “intestate estate”. Intestacy law, (also referred to as the law of descent and distribution), determines who is entitled to the property from the estate under the rules of inheritance.
Thus, funeral directors know their account should be good when they are asked to wait for payment until Probate is obtained to prevent the executor, beneficiaries of others having to put their hand in their own pockets to cover these expenses until all of the estate’s funds are called in from the banks.
Of course, there is another option for executors to meet some estate expenses before the estate’s assets have been called in, and that is to produce bills to the deceased’s bank and ask for them to be paid directly form the deceased’s bank account. Although the bank accounts of a person are usually frozen by the banks once notified of the death, banks are usually willing to assist to ensure funeral and some other expenses can be paid.
Any estate expenses paid by executors (or beneficiaries) from their own pockets can be reclaimed from the estate by way of reimbursement after estate assets have been called in and before a distribution to beneficiaries, if the assets in the estate will be sufficient to pay all creditors.
Come and see us at RobertsLaw for help guiding you through the management of the Deceased Estate. Our experience in this area could be what you need to help reduce stress during this hard time.