Letters of Administration
It’s easy for us to assume that our property and possessions will automatically go to loved ones when we die, however, this is sadly not always the case. Without a valid Will the strict inheritance laws apply.
The only way to make it absolutely clear who should inherit your property and possessions after you pass away is by making a Will.
When an adult person with assets, such as property, money and possessions, dies without a valid Will they are said to have died Intestate.
In these circumstances, before it can be determined who the beneficiaries are, the first step is to establish who should be administering the estate.
When identifying estate administrators and beneficiaries, great care and diligence is required to avoid any mistakes being made, because an Estate Administrator can be held personally financially liable for any loss resulting from a breach of their duty.
This is where our Probate and Estate Administration expertise has been invaluable for thousands of our customers. We offer a sympathetic ear when bereaved people need it most.
What do I do if I can’t find the Will or there isn’t one?
If you cannot find a Will in any of the paperwork at the property, you should speak to other family members or loved ones to see if it was left with them.
You could also contact any local Solicitors that were used by the person who died to see if they have any records of a Will being made or in fact have the Will.
You can also check with the Public Trustee to see if a Will has been registered there. If you find a Will, it will need to be sent to the Executor/s.
Where the deceased died intestate
The person entitled to appointment as administrator pursuant to a grant of letters of administration is determined in accordance with the Supreme Court and Uniform Procedure Rules (Rules).
If the intestate was survived by more than one spouse and both applied, the registry would refer the competing applications to the court. Generally, if there is more than one surviving spouse, the court may make a grant to either of them or to a person lower in the order of priority. However, as with administrators with the will, the court may appoint any person it thinks fit.
As with an application for a grant of letters of administration with the will, the applicant need not establish priority for a person equal to or lower than the applicant in the order of priority but the existence or nonexistence and beneficial interest of any de facto spouse or a person claiming to be a de facto spouse must be sworn.