When a loved one has passed away you may be required to assist in the administration of their estate. Typically, an executor will be the person dealing with the administration of the estate. Dillon Bowers Lawyers can assist in the administration of the estate to ensure the works are completed in line with the relevant legislation and also to ensure that the estate has been distributed correctly. This will protect the personal interests of the person handling the estate, typically the executor.
It will depend on each estate, and what assets there are, as to whether or not you would be required to obtain Probate or Letters of Administration.
When a person dies with a Will you may need to apply for Probate of the Will. Probate is the Supreme Court of Queensland recognising that a Will is valid. A Grand of Probate from the Court authorises the executor of the estate to take control of the assets and distribute the estate. Probate may be needed before an executor can access certain assets of the estate.
It is typically at the asset holders discretion as to whether they require Probate. An asset holder who will commonly require Probate is a bank, retirement home or share registry. It is not the case that a Grant of Probate will be required for every estate. If the estate is smaller, or if the surviving spouse is a joint owner of the home and bank accounts Probate is unlikely to be necessary.
The process of applying for a grant of Probate is complicated. The applicant must adhere to relevant timelines, they must advertise and file relevant documents with the Supreme Court of Queensland.
A breakdown of the process is as follows:
- Advertise a notice of intention to apply;
- Prepare the court documentation;
- The court documents cannot be lodged until fourteen (14) days from the advertisement;
- Respond to queries raised by the court; and
- If everything is in order receive the Grant of Probate.
Where there is a valid Will and someone other than the executor is applying for a Grant of Probate, they will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration of the Will. Where there is no valid Will a person will need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration on intestacy. The process for applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration is similar to applying for Probate, however, can be quite complicated in the absence of a Will.
If you are responsible for administering an estate or have questions in relation to your entitlement under an estate, contact our office today to speak with one of our Estate Lawyers. Our Estate Lawyers can provide tailored advice and assist you in this difficult time.