Estate Administration for Executors and Administrators
Being an Executor or Administrator of an estate might feel quite nerve-wracking. But, our highly experienced estate administration lawyers are here to help executors and administrators through every step of the estate administration process. Getting started is easy…
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Here at CRH Law we are pleased to be able to offer a free, no obligation consultation for Executors.
If you would like to make an enquiry about a free consultation, contact us today by completing the form or phoning us.
What is Probate?
Probate is the way in which the Court validates a person’s Will confirming that the Will has been validly made. The certificate of probate (known as a grant of probate) shows that the Will has been approved by the Supreme Court.
What are Letters of Administration?
If a person dies without leaving a Will or without an Executor, the Supreme Court can make a grant similar to Probate, known as Letters of Administration. Find out more about Letters of Administration here.
What is estate administration?
Estate administration is the process of managing an estate after a person dies. It included gathering assets, paying debts and securing property and ultimately distributing the balance of the estate to its beneficiaries. Being an Executor can be an honour but it is also a significant legal responsibility which cannot be taken lightly. Estate administration can be quick tricky and Executors and Administrators should consider seeking the appropriate legal support to help them through the process.
Who needs to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration?
A grant of Probate gives the Executor of an estate the power to deal with the assets of the estate and to carry out the estate administration. In some very small estates, Probate may not be required. For example, if the only asset of the estate was a small bank account, it may be that the accounts can be closed without Probate. CRH Law can give you advice about whether Probate is necessary.
What is an Executor?
An Executor means the person named by a Will maker (often called a Testator) in their Will who is responsible for carrying out the directions of the Will. Typically, the Executor is the person responsible for making an application for a grant of Probate when the need arises.
How long does it take to get Probate or Letters of Administration?
The process of obtaining a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration usually takes around 8 weeks.
What is a reseal of probate?
reseal of Probate is obtained where a Grant of Probate has already been obtained in another State, Territory or in some cases country. Instead of making a new application for Grant of Probate to be issued by the Supreme Court in Queensland, you can apply for a reseal of Probate. This allows the original grant to be resealed by the Queensland Courts. This means that the estate does not incur the cost of obtaining a full Grant of Probate multiple times.
I am an Enduring Attorney. Can I still use it after the person I looked after (the Principal) dies?
No. The Enduring Power of Attorney ceases operation on the death of the Principal and should not be relied upon after death. Once someone dies, their Will is activated and the Executor is the person empowered to make decisions about their estate.
Why do I need a Death Certificate?
An original death certificate is required for an application for Probate or for Letters of Administration and to allow for the administration of the estate.
Can I access the deceased’s bank account?
Bank accounts in joint names should not be affected at all by the death of one joint owner.
Sole bank accounts in the name of a deceased person are usual frozen once the bank is notified of the death until the banks requirements for paying out and closing the accounts are met. This may include obtaining a grant of Probate.
However, bank generally will allow funds from a deceased bank account to be released for funeral costs and if requested, (usually by a lawyer on their firm letterhead), the expenses for Probate including the Court fees may be released to the law firm. This means that the Executor may be able to avoid the out of pocket expenses associated with obtaining a grant of Probate.
I am the Executor of an estate. Do I need help from a lawyer?
The administration of an estate can be complex and may require a considerable amount of expertise and / or time to undertake all the tasks that are required.
There are legal requirements that must be satisfied to comply with the law and if you are an Executor, it is probably wise to at least gain some initial legal advice from an expert lawyer specialising in probate and estate administration at the earliest opportunity.
Managing Wills, estates and Probate are difficult matters, particularly when families are still grieving. Seeking the help of a lawyer is a wise choice to ensure the smooth and proper management of all debts and assets.
Here at CRH Law we are pleased to be able to offer a free, no obligation consultation for Executors. Contact us today and let us support you in your important role as Executor.