31 Oct 2023

Appointing Worrells as replacement or additional executor to deceased estates


4 min

We can help irrespective of whether insolvent or solvent.

We’ve published several articles on the interaction of bankruptcy and deceased estates, primarily surrounding circumstances where either the bankrupt passes away during the bankruptcy period or when an Executor determines the deceased estate is likely insolvent and applies to court to appoint a bankruptcy trustee.

In addition to these scenarios, this article explores where the deceased estate Executor must deal with the affairs which could involve running a business or with the estate’s real property (residential or commercial). The Executor’s task becomes how to best manage and realise that business or real property for maximum value for the deceased estate’s benefit. It may be that the appointed Executor of the deceased estate has no experience in running a business, the particular industry in which the business operated, or in managing real property (particularly if it involves managing commercial property). Beyond the required skill set, Executors may not have the desire to complete the task or there may be a deadlock from a dispute between multiple Executors who can’t reach agreement.

In the case of operating business, this can mean the Executor is being asked to make decisions on financial, managerial, and operational aspects which they were not previously involved in. This can lead to risks of incorrect decisions being made which can not only be detrimental to the business, but also potentially expose the Executor to claims from both the business’s beneficiaries and creditors.

Over the past 50 years we’ve dealt with a wide range of business scenarios—either in running as a going concern or realising those businesses. Worrells has also been involved in countless instances of managing and realising real property, both residential and commercial. This makes us uniquely qualified and positioned to offer our services to Executors of deceased estates faced with having to manage and realise businesses and real property and they don’t need to be insolvent to seek our help.

To engage Worrells’ expertise and assistance, the Executor must apply to court for a Worrells principal (nominated by full name) to be appointed as a replacement or additional Executor/Administrator of the estate, with powers to deal with and realise business and real property interests of the deceased and administer the funds in accordance with the Will.

The benefits of appointing Worrells as a replacement or additional Executor/Administrator are:

  • We ensure the deceased estate affairs are administered efficiently.

  • We secure the best outcome for all parties (beneficiaries and creditors) involved through exploring viable avenues of recovery.

  • We provide much-needed expertise in financial, managerial, and operational decisions, reducing the risk of harmful business decisions or exposing the executor to legal claims.

  • We are completely independent.

Our services can result in a significant reassurance to the Executor appointed under the Will and the beneficiaries that the business affairs of the deceased estate are administered as efficiently as possible and every endeavour is made to get the best outcome for all concerned. It is also a useful tool to consider appointing a Worrells principal when multiple Executors can’t reach an agreement.

If you or someone you know is currently facing the challenges of managing a deceased estate, I encourage you to explore the possibilities that Worrells offers. We are here to make a difference and bring expertise to an often complex and emotionally-charged process. Contact your local Worrells principal for a no-obligation and complimentary consultation.


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