When a will is drawn up, it should nominate an executor who will assume responsibility for distributing the estate in accordance with the terms of the will.
Upon the death of the person who owned the will, in many cases, an application needs to be made to the court for ‘probate’, which approves the validity of the will and the right of the executor to enact its terms. In Australia, the application is made to the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court.
Where a person has died without a valid will, they are regarded as having died intestate. In this circumstance, a spouse, defacto spouse or other close family relative can apply to the Supreme Court to be appointed as administrator of the estate. If approved, they are granted ‘letters of administration’.
Clinch Long Letherbarrow can assist executors in applying for probate, and also in performing the duties that are part of their role once probate has been granted. We can also help family members of someone who has died intestate in applying for letters of administration and supporting them in that role once approved.
Time limits apply to applications for probate, and there are also requirements regarding publication notices and the recording of an inventory of assets and liabilities. We can assist with all requirements and provide advice and legal support in the event that an estate dispute arises.