Probate and Estate Administration

Probate and Estate Administration

We are experts in probate and estate administration for deceased estates.

An executor named in a Will has the duty of taking care of the deceased’s assets and property, arranging payment of the funeral and administration expenses and to distributing assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the deceased’s Will.

Where a deceased person leaves a Will and the assets are of a certain size (depending on the institution where the asset is held) or a type (real property or land), an application for a Grant of Probate will generally be required. If an estate is small or if there is no real property, the estate may be dealt with without the need for a grant. Where a person either dies without a Will, the person’s will cannot be located or there is some defect in the Will, it is known as dying intestate and an eligible relative can apply for what is called Letters of Administration.

Applications for both Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration are made by Summons filed in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and should be made within 6 months of the testator’s death.

Where there are jointly owned assets, they do not generally form part of the deceased person’s estate but rather automatically become owned by the surviving joint tenant,  subject to formalities to update title particulars. Similarly, interests in superannuation funds become the property of a nominated beneficiary where there is a valid death benefit nomination.

We can:

  • Advise you about the rights and responsibilities of an executor;
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate in respect of a Will or Letters of Administration where there
    is no Will;
  • Assist in the administration of the deceased’s estate, including dealing with bank accounts and other assets like shares, motor vehicles and property;
  • Pay any estate debts, taxes and distribute any remaining assets;
  • Advise in relation to challenging the validity of a Will;
  • Advise in relation to claims on a deceased estate; and
  • Defend or prosecute any claims such as claims for family provision orders under the Succession Act.

For more information in relation to deceased estates, probate, claims on estates or your rights as a beneficiary, please contact us to discuss or to arrange a confidential appointment.

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