Probate & Estate Administration
Probate & Administration of Estates
What happens after you die?
The answer to this question depends on whether you have a valid Will at the time of your death.
You have a valid Will
After you pass away, the person or persons nominated by you as the Executor/s of your Will, need to gather some information and some documents.
A. Your death certificate (usually arrives within about 3 weeks after your funeral);
B. A list of your assets
C. A list of your liabilities
This sounds easy, and it would be for you. However, if you have ever had to do this task for a loved one or parent, it can be daunting, especially when you are grieving.
The greatest gift my grandfather gave me was a prepared folder listing all of his assets and liabilities, his memberships, the account numbers and reference numbers for his pension from veterans affairs and other services he used. God love him! he even wrote out his own childhood history knowing that there would be no one alive with this information.
Our Estate Planning clients are all provided with one of our “I love you” folders. A simple space to keep all of this information and more.
Once your nominated Executors have all of this information their next step is to book an appointment with us to start the process of applying for a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court of NSW. There are specific documents that need to be prepared by us and then executed by them before they are lodged with the Court.
After the application is approved by the Court, the Court issues a Sealed Grant of Probate.
When we receive the Grant of Probate we then begin the task of collecting your assets and paying your liabilities before distributing the balance of your Estate in accordance with your wishes that you have set out in your Will.
You do NOT have a valid Will
If you don’t have a Will or if the Will you have is not a valid Will, or your family can’t find your original Will, then your family and loved ones will need to take steps to apply for Letters of Administration. This process is more expensive and time consuming for those who are left behind.
Once your assets and liabilities are determined, one of your family members or your next of kin is able to come and see us and we can guide them through the process of apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for a Grant to one of them of Letters of Administration.
After the application is approved by the Court, the Court issues Sealed Grant of Letters of Administration to the Administrators appointed, we then begin the task of collecting your assets and paying your liabilities before distributing the balance of your Estate in accordance with the Succession Act.
Your Estate will be distributed in accordance with the Succession Act rather than your wishes.
To make sure that your Estate is distributed to those beneficiaries that you choose, contact us today to make an appointment to make your Will.
What if someone doesn’t agree with my Will. Can my Will be contested?
The simple answer is yes. If one of your relatives who has been during their lifetime or was a dependent on you at the time of your death, they can file a claim against your Estate. This application is made to the Supreme Court of NSW. This type of application is known as a Family Provision Claim.
The application usually sets out some facts about the relationship between the applicant and you. The applicant must be a person who is classed as an “eligible person” under section 57 of the Succession Act in New South Wales.
Once an application is made and served on your legal personal representative, that person is either your Executor or the Administrator of your Estate, the parties are usually referred to mediation by the Court. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement during mediation, the matter will go back to the Court who will then set a timetable to get the matter ready for a hearing.
If you want to make sure your Estate Plan is going to protect the ones you love.
Alternatively, if you are an eligible person and have been either left out of a Will or you believe that the deceased has not adequately provided for you in their Will, please call us today to book a free consultation.