The duties owing by an Estate Trustee are plentiful and onerous.  It is important for an Estate Trustee, as soon as stepping into office, to understand their obligations and prioritize the steps to be completed.

There have been concerns rising out of Australia where firms have been billing clients, now deceased, for services that they are no longer providing.  The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as Bloomberg, have reported that many financial institutions have been billing clients notwithstanding their own internal documents confirm that services are not being provided and that their client is dead.  In some instances, clients who had passed away ten years prior, were still being charged.

This serves as a helpful reminder that Estate Trustees should immediately take steps to cancel the deceased’s numerous accounts/subscriptions that are no longer needed and that may automatically renew.  These include, telephone, internet, magazine/newspaper, and the gym.  And of course, the bank!  An estate account should also be opened in order to deposit income and to pay any necessary expenses that may arise.

An Estate Trustee does not want to deliver an accounting, replete with payments for services that are no longer necessary.  This would certainly impact a claim for compensation.

Solicitors assisting an Estate Trustee with the administration of an estate often provide checklists to ensure such obligations are met.

Noah Weisberg

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