When a loved one or someone close to you passes away, certain legal steps must be taken before the estate can be distributed.
Also known as a grant of probate or grant of representation, is a process that is sometimes required to confirm that the deceased’s Will is valid, and therefore allowing the Executor to be appointed to distribute the estate.
Note: Each state and territory has a slightly different process, so it is important to check these requirements as needed.
Why is probate important?
Probate gives the Executor the legal authority to deal with the deceased assets. This includes things such as bank accounts, property or shares that need to be distributed to the beneficiaries stated in the Will.
Often there is a threshold of ‘value’ that must be reached to require probate. For example, if the deceased may have left money in a sole bank account, the bank may require a grant of probate to release the funds for distribution by the Executor. Similarly, if they owned shares, the trading platform may require probate to transfer ownership.
For smaller assets, a death certificate or Will may be sufficient, how it is crucial to check the requirements for each state and governing body.
What are ‘Letters of Administration’?
If there is no legal Will, it is not possible to apply for probate. In this situation, a process called ‘Letters of Administration’ applies where the Court will appoint an administrator.
Usually, the person who stands to inherit the largest part of the estate needs to apply to be the official administrator. This person is often the closest relative to the person who passed away.
Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?
We understand you’ve got a lot to deal with right now – especially if you’re responsible for managing the affairs of your loved one.
When the funeral is over, you may need to apply for the right to deal with your loved one’s estate: their property, money and possessions. Let us help.
We can connect you with probate and estate planning experts to help you organise your estate and create the legal documents to protect you and your loved ones should you fall ill or pass away unexpectedly.
eziFunerals supports individuals and families cope with end of life decisions, death and funerals. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not part of any other funeral company.
Our member Funeral Directors operate in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Australia wide. They are chosen for their knowledge, quality, service, personalisation and experience. They go above and beyond, and will take the time to support the family.
For more information or to make contact with a trusted Independent funeral director, call eziFunerals on 1300 236 402 or visit www.ezifunerals.com.au.