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.
As there is no executor, someone will need to be appointed as an Administrator to manage the deceased estate.
When applying for Letters of Administration, there are strict legal steps that must be followed and the Supreme Court will need to be satisfied that the person applying to be appointed as Administrator is the most appropriate person to administer the estate.
How do I apply for Letters of Administration?
An application for Letters of Administration is made to the Supreme Court of Queensland.
It is a formal process and there are precise steps that need to be followed and a number of time frames to be mindful of. The process generally involves:
- A notice of your intention to apply being published in a local newspaper (such as the Courier Mail) and the Queensland Law Reporter;
- Providing the Public Trustee of Queensland with the notice outlining your intention to apply for a Grant; and
- Filing documents in the Supreme Court, including the application, affidavits, original Will (if any) and the death certificate.
Once the application has been filed, the Supreme Court will examine it and if there are any matters which require further explanation, a requisition will be issued outlining what needs to be provided.
Once the Supreme Court is satisfied with the application, Letters of Administration will be granted and the estate can be administered.
Who can apply for Letters of Administration?
The law provides a number of people that may apply to be an Administrator and this depends on whether the person died with or without a Will.
How much does it cost?
A filing fee is charged by the Court to lodge the application for Letters of Administration. This can and does increase over time.
As you must also advertise in various publications, the costs can vary depending on the number of characters required in the advertisement.
As these costs are likely to change over time, always check the current fees and costs with the Court and relevant organisations before arranging payment.
Do I have to pay for the legal fees?
If you engage a lawyer to do the work, and you are appointed, generally you will be entitled to a reimbursement from the estate to cover the legal costs and the outlays (including advertising costs) when the estate assets have been made available.
How long does it take to get Letters of Administration?
The processing time is approximately 10 business days but this depends on whether the Court requires any further information. From our experience, we have found that the processing time can vary and some applications can take 4 to 6 weeks depending on how complex the matter is.
If you have any further questions about Letters of Administration please contact our team at CRH Law