Probate & Letters of Administration

What is Probate?

When a person passes away and they had a valid Will in place at that time it is sometimes necessary for the Executor appointed in the Will to make an application to the Supreme Court of Victoria for a Grant of Probate. This process is a way for the Executor of a deceased estate to prove that they have authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Probate is not always required, depending on what type of assets are held, how those assets are held, and in some cases, the value of the assets. Contact us today to arrange an appointment to find out whether Probate is required in your circumstances.

What is Letters of Administration?

Letters of Administration is a similar process to making an application for a Grant of Probate, however this is the process where the deceased person did not leave a valid Will. Similarly to Probate, an application for a Grant of Letters of Administration is made to the Supreme Court of Victoria by the next of kin, also known as the Administrator.

Sometimes there will be a Will, but the Will may not be informal, or may not properly appoint an Executor. In these circumstances, an Application for a Grant of Letters of Administration with the Will annexed would be made to the Supreme Court of Victoria, which, again, is a similar process as Probate or Letters of Administration

A Grant of Letters of Administration is sometimes required to deal with the assets in the estate, however, as with Probate, it is not always required. Contact us today to arrange an appointment to find out whether Letters of Administration is required in your circumstances.

What is a Grant of Representation?

A Grant of Representation is a general term for a document proving that the Executor or Administrator of a deceased estate has the proper authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Grants of Probate, Letters of Administration, and Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed are all types of Grants of Representation. If you have been asked to provide a Grant of Representation and you have already been granted Probate or Letters of Administration, then you can simply provide a certified copy of Probate or Letters of Administration.

Administering Deceased Estates:

Once a Grant of Representation has been made, or in some cases where no grant is required, the assets and liabilities of the estate need to be dealt with. The Executor or Administrator of the Estate will be responsible for ensuring that all liabilities of the estate are paid and that all remaining assets owned by the deceased are transferred to the beneficiaries or sold and then proceeds of sale paid to the beneficiaries.

Exactly what the Executor or Administrator needs to do will depend on what assets there are. Common assets and liabilities to be dealt with include real property, refundable accommodation bonds, bank accounts, credit cards, personal loans, motor vehicles, shareholdings, and superannuation.

Contact us today to arrange a meeting to discuss the next steps in relation to your circumstances.

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