Executor of Will and Estate - Doing the Right Thing?

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Amanda E

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Hi Gregory,
Its the role of the executor to transfer assets, such as a property, to the beneficiaries and follow the wishes or instructions from the deceased. So if the executor is the beneficiary or one of the beneficiaries as per the deceased's instructions, then they can transfer assets to themselves.

However, if they are doing it for personal benefit against the instructions in the will, then that is illegal. I suggest reading through the will to know exactly what is what, and immediately addressing this issue with the executor.

If they do go through with dealing with the property in a manner other than as provided for in the will (or by law), then your can take court action against them for maladministration of the estate.


Dear Gregory,

Yes it is perfectly normal for an executor to transfer the title to a property to him or herself after obtaining probate in order to collect the estate together and thereafter distribute it. There is a specific form called a Transmission Application by Personal Representative (that's what its called in QLD anyway) and its used by executors to transfer the property into their own name. They would usually appear on the title as ‘personal representative’.
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Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Gregory,

Further to what Sophea and Amanda E have written above, an executor must transfer assets to their own name, or that of their trustee entity, if the assets are to be held in trust to be later distributed amongst beneficiaries. This happens when:

1. The executor applies to be a personal representative, as Sophea as mentioned, in which case, they need the legal power to deal with and administer the estate assets. In this case, the executor is a "trustee" of the whole estate for the benefit of "all the named beneficiaries and other entitled persons under the will".

2. The will entitles, or the court appoints, the executor to be a trustee for those beneficiaries who cannot immediately receive the gift allocated to them in the will. This happens when a gift is contingent upon the happening of a particular event (e.g. to my grandchild upon his marriage) or when the beneficiary is a minor and under statute, is not old enough to properly receive the gift (e.g. beneficiary under 18 years old).