Estate Checklists

Executors' checklist

Clearing up the estate

Executors have many duties and responsibilities in the administration of the estate, and before the estate can finally be wound up.

Below is a handy checklist for executors where you can tick off each task as it’s completed.

  • All assets cashed up and paid to the estate.
  • Joint property transferred to surviving joint owner.
  • All accounts and debts paid.
  • Insurance companies notified for house, contents, car, etc.
  • Administration and distribution statements finalised and approved by trustee.
  • Indemnities prepared and signed where necessary.
  • Do the executors need to wait a few months prior to distribution (possible estate claims)?
  • Does the estate’s lawyer need to advertise prior to distribution (debts owing)?
  • Has consideration been given to the Property (Relationships) Act?
  • Final distributions made to beneficiaries or invested as required in terms of the Will.
  • Final tax returns filed.

First Appointment Checklist

What to bring to the first appointment

In the section ‘What can the family do?’ on Pages 24–25 there’s a note that the family can provide the estate lawyer with useful information about the deceased’s assets and financial affairs. The checklist below will help you gather that documentation together.

You’ll need to find details of all assets held by the estate including:

  • Bank statements, including joint accounts.
  • Property owned (including residential home and investment properties),rates instalments, insurance, etc.
  • Bonus Bonds Certificates (if available).
  • Share portfolio summary (ring their stockbroker for this or check records on computer or share registry), stock and debenture certificates (if available), details about unit trusts, mortgage investments, etc.
  • Motor vehicle details and insurance.
  • Insurances
  • Life insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Trauma insurance
  • Income protection insurance
  • House and contents insurance (see above).
  • Tax information (including details of previous returns filed, IRD number and current resident withholding tax (RWT) certificates).
  • Employer’s name and contact details.
  • Income details from investments and/or current employment.
  • Details of any business interests the deceased may have: this may include directorships, trusteeships, investment in companies, etc.
  • Details of any pensions or superannuation including Work and Income, and UK pensions (if applicable), KiwiSaver, managed funds, etc.
  • Copy of the last Will, even though the estate lawyer will have the latest copy.
  • Details of executors, including full names, addresses and IRD numbers.
  • Details of beneficiaries including full names, addresses and bank details for payment of any funds owing to them.
  • All accounts payable and details of all debts owing by the estate (including funeral account if available).
  • Medical certificate of cause of death, and the birth certificate if available.
  • Passport.
  • Driver’s licence.
  • Any other papers that you may consider necessary (the estate lawyer can sort through any papers you are unsure of and give back to you those that aren’t required)

Please contact Tina McLennan or Jo McLennan for more information.