At Cominos Family Lawyers, we have more than 25 years experience in Probate matters and the administration of deceased estates.
If you have been named as an Executor in a Will, you need to be aware of your duties and obligations to the Estate and the beneficiaries. We can assist you with all steps in the process.
What is Probate?
A Grant of Probate is the formal document obtained from the Supreme Court of New South Wales which authorises the Executor named in the Will to administer a deceased Estate. If the Executor named in the Will has already died or does not want to act as Executor, then one of the beneficiaries can act as Administrator to apply for Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed.
What needs to be done first?
The first step is to check the Will to see whether there are any instructions regarding funeral or burial wishes.
Arranging the funeral is the priority at this early stage. Funeral expenses can be paid from the deceased’s bank account. The Executor should take the invoice from the funeral director to the deceased’s bank together with a copy of the medical death certificate and the Will so that the bank can arrange a cheque to be drawn from the account in payment of the funeral expenses.
Do you need a Grant of Probate?
Some estates don’t require a Grant of Probate to be obtained. If most or all of the assets of the Estate are owned jointly with the surviving partner then it is simply a matter of transferring the assets into the surviving partner’s name. We can assist you to liaise with the banks, share registries and the Land & Property Information office.
We can advise you whether a Grant of Probate is required and make submissions to asset holders on behalf of the Executor to waive the requirement for a Grant of Probate if appropriate.
What to bring to your first appointment
Once the formal death certificate is received from the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages, you should bring this and the original Will along to your initial appointment together with as much information as possible about the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
What happens if there is no Will?
If the deceased has died without a Will, then the Estate will be distributed in accordance with the statutory rules of intestacy. An application for Letters of Administration is made by one of the statutory beneficiaries or by the Public Trustee.
If you have any inquiries about Probate matters, please contact us today.
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