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Question of the week

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11 June 2021

Fair and impartial

Wills, Powers, Estates & Family Provision Claims


Please advise whether an executor can translate a will to the testator.


Thank you for the question.

If a will needs to be translated it is best practice that it be done by a party that has no interest in the will. This includes the executor. It avoids the possibility of a claim of undue influence, or a lack of knowledge and approval, if the will was to be challenged after the testator’s death.

The By Lawyers attestation clauses located on the Wills (Vic) matter plan such as Unable to read or speak English but can sign reflect this practice by including the following note:

People signing, reading, and translating on behalf of others should have no interest in the will and should not be related to the testator.

The executor has an interest in the will if they are also a beneficiary. If a solicitor is the executor, but not a beneficiary, they still have an interest in the will if they are entitled to charge professional fees for their work as an executor and therefore should not translate. For more information refer to 101 Succession Answers (Vic) in the Wills section under Solicitors  As executor.