Probate & Letters of Administration

Wills and Estates

Probate & Letters of Administration

Probate applies to you if you have been appointed as an executor in somebody’s Will and they pass away. If you are willing to accept the role you must first obtain approval from the Supreme Court’s Probate Office. This approval grants you authorisation to deal with the significant assets of the Will.

This authority is called a “Grant of Probate”, or just “Probate” for short, and our Gippsland probate lawyers can help you apply for it.

Gippsland Probate Lawyers

Our Gippsland Probate lawyers can guide you through applying for Probate in a timely manner. Until you have received Probate you won’t be able to access the deceased’s funds in the bank or authorise the sale of their property other than to pay for the funeral expenses.

Our Gippsland Probate Lawyers can ably assist you to interpret the Will, apply for the Grant of Probate, collect all assets, pay all debts, provide advice about possible hurdles, and distribute the remainder according to the Will. The Probate Office can be very particular in its requirements, so let our decades of estate experience work in your favour for a smooth transaction.

To start the process, we usually require the following:

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The original Will

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The original Death Certificate

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Details of the significant assets and liabilities (addresses of property owned, a summary of bank accounts, details of any loans, accommodation bonds paid, share portfolio details and superannuation information)

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An understanding of the family tree

Letters of Administration

If a person dies without a Will, instead of a Grant of Probate the Supreme Court’s Probate Office will issue a different kind of authority called “Letters of Administration”, often referred to as just “Letters” for short.

Letters authorise a particular person to be the Administrator of the estate, having the same job as an executor would have. There is no law dictating who should put their hand up to be the Administrator, but it will usually be the next of kin or someone who might receive a distribution from the estate. It essentially gives the same authority as a Grant of Probate, allowing the administrator to deal with significant assets like real estate, bank accounts and shares.

The laws of intestacy dictate how the assets will be distributed, and our Gippsland Probate lawyers can assist you to interpret the details of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) in that regard. As with Probate, our firm is well experienced in making applications for Letters of Administration and we can also assist you to collect the assets, pay all debts, provide advice about possible hurdles, and distribute the remainder.

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