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Lawyers, accountants and other professionals nominated as executors of their clients Wills must be aware of proposed new rules that could prevent them from being paid for acting in the role.

Importantly, under the proposed changes to Victorian law:

  • An executor is not entitled to receive payment under a remuneration clause in the Will unless the willmaker gave written informed consent to the inclusion of the remuneration clause before the Will was executed. This will apply not only to lawyers, but accountants and other professionals.
  • The executor must provide the beneficiaries with details of any payment of fees or commission to be made to the executor.
  • The Court can order that excessive fees, commission, cost or expense be reduced or repaid to the estate.
  • The executor can elect to charge fees instead of commission if the amount will be less that the amount of commission.

The changes are proposed in the Administration and Probate and Other Acts Amendment (Succession and Related Matters) Bill 2016, which is currently being considered by the Victorian Parliament. If passed, the changes are due to come into effect by 1 November 2017.

If your clients intend to appoint you as their executor it is imperative that they are given the necessary information to provide informed consent and that this consent is recorded in writing.

Our experienced Wills and Estates team can assist your clients to prepare Wills and ensure the above requirements are met.

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Are you an executor of a client’s Will? Make sure you get paid

22 August 2017
james dimond

Lawyers, accountants and other professionals nominated as executors of their clients Wills must be aware of proposed new rules that could prevent them from being paid for acting in the role.

Importantly, under the proposed changes to Victorian law:

  • An executor is not entitled to receive payment under a remuneration clause in the Will unless the willmaker gave written informed consent to the inclusion of the remuneration clause before the Will was executed. This will apply not only to lawyers, but accountants and other professionals.
  • The executor must provide the beneficiaries with details of any payment of fees or commission to be made to the executor.
  • The Court can order that excessive fees, commission, cost or expense be reduced or repaid to the estate.
  • The executor can elect to charge fees instead of commission if the amount will be less that the amount of commission.

The changes are proposed in the Administration and Probate and Other Acts Amendment (Succession and Related Matters) Bill 2016, which is currently being considered by the Victorian Parliament. If passed, the changes are due to come into effect by 1 November 2017.

If your clients intend to appoint you as their executor it is imperative that they are given the necessary information to provide informed consent and that this consent is recorded in writing.

Our experienced Wills and Estates team can assist your clients to prepare Wills and ensure the above requirements are met.