Introduction

This guide has information about what happens if you are appointed executor in someone's will. Read more about wills.

An executor is named in a person's will, and can be either:

  • a person 
  • or a trustee organisation. 

When a person dies their belongings, property, money and debts is called their estate. 

An executor is responsible for carrying out that person’s instructions and making sure their money and belongings go to the people they have named in their will, also known as the beneficiaries.

Find out more about what an executor does.

If you don't want to be executor

If you don’t want to be an executor, you can decline. 

You must do this in writing by signing a document called a renunciation.

Another beneficiary of an estate can administer the estate in your place, or you can ask the Public Trustee to administer the estate for a fee if everyone agrees.

Read about will and estate management fees.

Difference between an executor and an administrator 

An executor takes control of a person’s estate when they have been named in their will.

An administrator takes control of a person’s estate when they have been appointed because the person didn’t have a will.

Find out more about taking control of a person's estate.

Print all pages in this section

Last updated: 04 March 2016