Renouncing executorship and probate – when an executor does not wish to act

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Renouncing probate is what you can do if you are named as executor in a deceased person’s will, and do not want to take on the role.  You are not obliged to, but you need to take steps to put that into effect as soon as practical.


Note, if you are looking for executor services, you can find a lawyer or law firm to do this by contacting the law society in your state/territory for referrals: links here. 
Alternatively the public trustee in your state/territory, links here, also provides executor services, as do some non-government providers including banks, even if they were not consulted when the will was made.    

Can an executor resign?
There is no requirement that a named executor in a will  must accept the role of executorship, even if you had agreed with the willmaker that you would.

So in other words, can you resign as executor of an estate? Yes, providing you have not intermeddled in the estate already, see further below on what intermeddling means.

If you don’t wish to act when the time comes, and you have not dealt with estate property, you can give up the right to do so.  It means you give up your appointment as an executor, commonly called renouncing probate. In renouncing probate you are renouncing the executorship, in other words resigning.  It means you renounce or give up your right to apply for probate of the deceased’s will; sometimes expressed as to ‘renounce probate’.

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Codicils: what is a codicil, making minor changes to a will

A codicil is a document used to make minor changes to an existing will

A codicil is an additional document added or appended to an existing will for the purpose of making a minor change, amendment or alteration to that will.  An example of a minor amendment is when someone wants to change their executor/s and/or trustee/s or appoint a new one.

Legal validity of a codicil

It is important to note that to be legally valid a codicil must be signed and witnessed in the same way as for a will.

Codicil to existing will or a new will?

As described already, codicil is a short document which may be used when only a minor change is required to a will.  If the will was made a long time ago, it may be best to make a new will altogether so there is no inconsistencies.  Seek professional advice.

This article looks at:

  • What is a codicil?
  • Making a legally valid codicil
  • Codicils must refer to the date on the correct will
  • Revoking part of a will by a codicil
  • Reviving an earlier will by a codicil
  • Meaning of ‘will’ includes a codicil
  • How must codicils be signed?
  • Storing a codicil
  • Potential problems
  • An undated, unsigned ‘homemade’ codicil 

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Storing a will – ensure it is safe and secure

storing a will, will storage, safe custody for a will, willmaking, deceased estate, Storing a will for safekeeping

Wills are important private and confidential documents.  An original will should be stored in a safe and secure place after being signed and witnessed.  Ideally the place should be fireproof and the like.  Depending on the status of family relationships, if kept at home, it the document should be protected from tampering or destruction.  And don’t forget to inform your executors where the will is located.

Probate law requires that the original will be attached to an application for a grant of probate from the court. Without it, the timely administration of the deceased’s estate is delayed until the situation is resolved.  A summary of the usual approaches to storing a will follows.

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Glen Innes Courthouse 1873, NSW

By B Stead

Please note: if you have landed here looking to contact the Court please see the Glen Innes Court House contact details here.

Glen Innes CourthouseGlen Innes Courthouse 1873, Grey Street, Glen Innes NSW

The Glen Innes Courthouse is still operational as a local court in New South Wales.

The present building bears the date 1873.  As with many other early colonial buildings it was designed by the architect James Barnet and constructed using local basalt stone and granite.

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Who can see the will of a deceased person & can you have a copy?

To see the will, view it or obtain access to the will of a deceased person

see the will, wills, probate, deceased estate, copy of someone's will, WillsHubTo see the will of a deceased person can be difficult when you are not the executor or administrator.  However in some states changes to the legislation on wills and succession has made this easier by making it clear the category of persons who are entitled to see or inspect the will of a deceased person.

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Bangalow Courthouse NSW

By B Stead

Bangalow Courthouse (former) and Police Station

A timber weatherboard construction for the Bangalow Courthouse and Police Station in the Federation era style.

 Bangalow Courthouse, Byron Street, Bangalow, NSW

Built in 1909 the Bangalow Courthouse was constructed alongside the Police lock-up,  which had been erected in 1905.

At the time Bangalow was described as a ‘budding township’, servicing a developing dairying industry, see location map below.  As with any growing community, it needed a police presence with adequate facilities. A number of the original Federation era shop facades lining the main street have been preserved rendering the townscape with special charm.

Before the Bangalow police station and lock-up was built Bangalow police were required to transport people in custody to the Byron Bay Police Station. The Northern Star, November 1904.

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When disposing property by will check the ownership – what can and can’t be disposed of by will

Disposing property – what can be disposed of by a will and what can’t – property ownership and control issues

disposing property by will, what property can be disposed of by will, Property ownership, will making, company shares, units, trust,Disposing property by will, in the will-making process requires considerations to be given to what you own in your individual name, as opposed to what you might control, see further below.  As only property owned in a personal or individual name can form a deceased estate, it is only this which can be transferred by will, (or the rules of intestacy).

Other property may be owned in the name of a company or trust.  In these entities an individual may have control through shareholdings or a power of appointment.  When it comes to making a will, it is important to remember that such assets won’t form part of a person’s deceased estate and therefore cannot be disposed by their will.  See the table below for examples of what are estate (disposable by will) and non-estate assets. Making a list of property, money and things to be disposed of and who owns what is important. More

Gundagai Courthouse, c1861, Gundagai, New South Wales

By B Stead

Please note, if you landed here looking for the contact and location details of the Gundagai Local Court, please go to their website here.

Gundagai Courthouse, early Australian courthouses, old Australian courthouses

Gundagai Courthouse, first courthouse constructed in 1859, NSW

Gundagai Courthouse, Gundagai, New South Wales

Gundagai is a country town on the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales, see location map below.  The area is widely known for its Dog on the Tuckerbox Statue, just outside of town off the Hume Highway.

Gundagai has had courthouse facilities of one kind or another for over a hundred years. See a detailed history including architectural drawings of the Gundagai Courthouse in the Gundagai Gaol & Courthouse Conservation Management Plan1 ical account The Gundagai Courthouse

Early repairs and developing the grounds

In 1870 repairs to the North Gundagai Courthouse and improvements to its approach had stalled.  Reporting on the matter it seemed that the first choice of contractor was the cause of the delay in repairing “our local temple of justice”.  In addition the contractor allegedly had failed to keep costs ‘to an economical scale.’

Improving a ‘mean’ entrance

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