Deceased Estates and Estate Administration
For over 40 years BHM Lawyers have been supporting their clients with professional and compassionate legal advice when it comes to the process of administering a loved one’s estate.
BHM Lawyers will provide you with tailored legal advice depending on the assets and liabilities of the estate. However, in most instances it will be necessary to obtain consent from the Supreme Court before the assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries. The legal processes for obtaining consent from the Supreme Court are referred to as Probate and Letters of Administration.
Probate is the legal process of obtaining the Supreme Court’s acknowledgement and endorsement that the will submitted to the Court is the last will and testament of the deceased and that the deceased’s assets can be distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will. The application is made by the executor/s appointed in the will.
Once the Supreme Court issues the Grant of Probate the nominated executor/s can begin the process of administrating the estate including attending to payment of any estate liabilities and distribute the remainder of the estate in accordance with the legacies and bequests provided in the will.
Letters of Administration
If the deceased did not have a Will or the Will is defective in some way, the estate is referred to as intestate.
In these circumstances it is often necessary to apply to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration or Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed before the estate can be administered. A potential administrator will be required as part of this process to satisfy the Court that they are the appropriate person to be appointed as the administrator, what the assets and liabilities of the estate are and who are the appropriate beneficiaries.
The legal process of applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration can be complex. In certain circumstances an executor or administrator can also be held personally liable to the beneficiaries for losses suffered by an estate. It is therefore recommended that an executor or an administrator obtain legal advice prior to distributing the estate.
BHM Lawyers has an experienced and understanding legal team who will advise you through the required process to ensure that as an executor or administrator you can administer the estate in an appropriate and timely manner, to not only meet your legal obligations and responsibilities to the beneficiaries, but to discharge you from those responsibilities after the estate has been administered.
For more information please click on the factsheets below prepared by the NSW Supreme Court.
Batemans Bay: (02) 44726377
Moruya (02) 44742277