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Letters of Administration

When somebody dies and they leave a Will, the Will outlines how their assets are to be distributed upon their death. If they die without leaving a Will,  they die intestate. On intestacy the Administration Act 1969 sets out how a deceased’s assets are to be distributed.

Depending on the value of their assets, their spouse/partner, child or another family member may be able to administer the estate without assistance for example by closing the deceased’s bank account or distributing their personal effects.

If however the deceased’s assets are valued at over the Prescribed Amount (Currently $15,000), Letters of Administration of the Estate will be required.

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What is Letters of Administration?

This is the formal process of applying to the Court (where there is no Will) to have an Administrator appointed to administer the estate. If the deceased left a Will, the process differs. The Executor will need to apply for Probate of the estate. Refer to this page for more information.

Who can apply to be appointed as Administrator of the estate?

This will depend upon the particular circumstances. A person with a beneficial entitlement to the estate will most often be appointed but who this will be and whose consent may be required can be complex. Our team are familiar in navigating these rules and can give you the right advice based on the circumstances.

Who is beneficially entitled to a share in the estate?

If someone passes away intestate, who is to receive what depends upon the family members that survive the deceased. For example, if the deceased died with a spouse and children their estate will be distributed differently to somebody who had no children and was survived only by their spouse. Everyone’s circumstances are different. It is important to get the right advice for you.

What does the process involve?

Contact our team of experts and we can talk you through the legal requirements.

The process of applying for Letters of Administration is largely like applying for Probate when somebody dies with a Will. There are specific documents that need to be prepared, signed and filed in the High Court. However extra steps need to be taken including publishing an advertisement to other law firms to check the deceased did not have a Will and undertaking a paternity search for the deceased.

If somebody close to you has died without leaving a Will, start with us and give one of our team a call today

It can be a confusing process to navigate and understandably you may have a number of questions. Contact us to guide you through the process from the start to the finish.