When a person dies, there are a number of important steps that must be followed to ensure that the estate can be administered efficiently and with regard to the law.
The first step in any estate matter is to establish whether the deceased made a valid Will
Where there is a Will – obtaining a Grant of Probate
Where there is a Will, banks and other institutions often require what is known as a Grant of Probate, which is the Court’s recognition that:
- The Will is valid; and
- The executor(s) and trustee(s) are entitled to administer the estate.
There are a number of steps involved in this process, including advertising requirements and establishing who the correct executors are.
Where there is no Will – Letters of Administration
Where there is no Will (or where no person is able to act as executor), it may be necessary to apply to the Court for what is known as Letters of Administration.
This is the process by which the Court appoints a person to act as administrator of the estate, which is a similar role to that of executor.
The law in Queensland provides an order of priority of who is entitled to be the administrator of an estate.
Duties of an Executor/Administrator
The executor of an estate has a duty at law to ensure that the estate is properly administered, and we would recommend that you obtain legal advice in this regard.
Several important aspects of this duty include:
- Accounting for all estate debts
- Making distribution to the beneficiaries
- Ensuring all assets are located
- Dealing with taxation and the financial affairs of the estate
Please contact us for more information.