If you have been named as an executor in a will or are otherwise responsible for carrying out the wishes of a deceased, you should seek legal advice regarding how to administer the estate properly. If the estate is not managed appropriately, the administrator or executor can be held personally liable for losses suffered by intended beneficiaries.
One of the first duties of a named executor or proposed estate administrator is to determine whether a grant of probate or letters of administration is required to be obtained.
The grant is a document that recognises someone’s authority to deal with the deceased’s estate, such as the executor named in the Will. If you have been named as an executor, you may be required to obtain a grant of probate in order to sell or transfer the deceased’s property, or obtain a refund from an aged care facility which can often be significant.
Every estate is different and therefore has different requirements with respect to proper administration. The costs of administering the estate including legal costs are payable by the estate itself.
What is a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
A grant of “probate” means getting official court recognition that a deceased’s person’s Will is legally valid.
There are 3 main types of grants:
- a valid will was written, and an executor named in the will is applying. This is known as a ‘grant of probate’.
- a valid will was written, and someone other than an executor named in the will is applying for a grant, the authorised person will be an administrator. This is known as a ‘grant of letters of administration of the will’.
- no valid will was written, the authorised person will be an administrator and the grant is known as a ‘grant of letters of administration on intestacy’.
Fixed Fee Probate Application Service
The process for getting probate can be complicated. You must advertise, complete a number of legal documents and file those documents with the Supreme Court.
When executors are administering an estate, they often need legal help to apply to the Supreme Court for probate.
We provide that help.