Probate and letter of administration involves the actual process of dealing with a Deceased’s estate; specifically, identifying assets and arranging their collection, paying outstanding expenses, compliance with all legal requirements and taxation responsibilities, ascertaining beneficiaries, and distributing the deceased’s assets in accordance with the Last Will.
Velos & Velos provide advice as to the proper methods of making distributions of the estate, preparing administration accounts, and where necessary, setting aside moneys for underage beneficiaries and other beneficiaries without capacity.
An executor’s role has a high degree of responsibility and Velos & Velos can assist you in carrying out your duties.
The consequences of dying intestate
When a person dies without a valid Will they are said to die ‘intestate’. Without a Will the decision as to who will benefit from your estate is beyond your control, instead being interpreted in accordance with the provisions of the Administration and Probate Act 1958. In this instance, letters of administration need to be obtained from the Supreme Court, which will allow the assets and liabilities of the estate to be dealt with.
Letters of administration authorize a person (called an administrator) to administer the deceased’s estate and distribute assets. Velos & Velos strongly recommend that you seek legal advice as the role of the Administrator has a high degree of responsibility and we are able to assist you in carrying out your duties.
Challenging a Will before probate is granted
You can lodge a caveat with the Registrar of Probates much like you would with land or real estate. However, unlike a caveat on land, this caveat will expire after six months if not renewed. With a caveat in place, the caveator is given notice and must file grounds of objection to a Will within 30 days of an application for probate.
After the objection is heard, the matter is then referred for directions to the Practice Court of the Supreme Court.
Is it possible to challenge a Will after probate has been granted?
A grant of probate can be challenged by the filing of summons in the proceeding in which the probate was granted. However, the challenger has a heavy onus, being required to show the grounds for revocation of the grant and also an explanation for the failure to prevent the grant in the first place.