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Estate Administration:
What happens after
you’re gone?

Introduction

At some stage, we all experience the death of someone near and dear to us, but few of us are fully aware of the estate management and administration process. This can be particularly difficult if you are called upon to assist with the many matters that require attention following a death. This page details what is involved in Estate Management and administration process.

What is Estate Administration?

In short, Estate Administration is the process of carrying out the wishes you lay out in your Will by making sure your estate is distributed effectively and to the right people.

Your estate is made up of all your assets –things like personal possessions, bank accounts, property, life insurance and KiwiSaver. It also includes funeral expenses, taxes, debts and other so-called liabilities.

How Perpetual Guardian can help with Estate Management

Some of the key steps in Estate Management that Perpetual Guardian can help with are :

• Locating your last Will;
• Obtaining authority from the High Court to administer the estate – this is called a Grant of Administration;
• Identifying and dealing with all your assets;
• Identifying all possible claimants;
• Paying all debts and liabilities;
• Meeting any tax obligations;
• Allocating the estate to your beneficiaries (you name them in your Will); and
• Accounting to your beneficiaries by preparing and providing financial statements.

Who can be your executor?

When you give instructions for your Will, you have to choose an executor. They’re the ones legally responsible to administer your estate, so it’s an important choice.

You can appoint one or more people to act as executor – the only restrictions are that they need to be over 20 years old and of sound mind.

Some common options are:

  • Your partner or spouse;
  • Family members or friends; or
  • Lawyers and/or accountants.

You can also appoint a trustee company as your executor, such as Perpetual Guardian.

Why choose Perpetual Guardian as your executor?

We understand that it is important to have someone who knows what they are doing to administer your estate.

Our role as executor is to carry out your wishes, but we also make it a priority to ensure your loved ones are supported and communicated with throughout the entire process – we’re here to help.

Choosing us means:

  • Your estate is administered swiftly because of special legal privileges we have as professional Trustee company – we’ve been around for over 135 years, so are firmly established in New Zealand;
  • All your estate matters are confidential and only those with the right to know about your affairs get information;
  • Your beneficiaries are consulted and communicated with at each stage to keep them up-to-date with all progress;
  • Your estate is handled by one of our estate administration experts in an independent and impartial way – that means always acting in your beneficiaries’ best interest and applying a detailed understanding of the law, taxation and accounting;
  • Accounting systems are used to provide accurate and always available statements of accounts to your beneficiaries;
  • We have 17 branches around the country and access to various agencies throughout the world. That means we’ve got your and your beneficiaries’ back wherever you move, and your overseas assets can be administered faster.

What does it cost?

Perpetual Guardian charges a scale commission, based on the value of the estate assets.

In addition to the above scale fee, there may also be time-based charges for specialist legal and accounting advice and activity outside of the normal executor’s role.

Still have questions? Take a look at our FAQs, or get in touch with us directly.

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