Whether or not there is a Will, when someone dies there are legal procedures to be followed in dealing with his or her estate. Where there is no Will, and therefore no Executor appointed, the Court will appoint an Administrator. Both the Executor and the Administrator have legal obligations in dealing with a deceased person’s estate. It is important that they take advice from a lawyer.
Wollerman Shacklock lawyers can apply, on your behalf, to the Supreme Court of Victoria for Probate in instances where there is a valid Will and you have been nominated as Executor of that Will. The Supreme Court can then grant probate which authorises you to distribute the deceased estate in accordance with the provisions of the Will. We can also assist even if one executor appointed under the Will resides in another state, or the estate requires Probate to be granted in another state.
Letters of Administration
In the event that there is no Will, or that the Will is invalid for any reason, Wollerman Shacklock lawyers can assist you with applying for Letters of Administration to the Supreme Court of Victoria. In these circumstances, there is legislation that details how an estate may be distributed and by whom. The Supreme Court can appoint an Administrator to distribute the estate under the Administration of Probate Act 1958 (Vic).
The Executors/Administrators duties include:
- In most cases applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration;
- Making sure that the deceased’s taxation matters are up to the date to the date of death and attending to making appropriate returns on behalf of the estate, if it earns sufficient income during the administration stage.
- Gathering in all the estate assets and paying all estate liabilities, including all debts and testamentary expenses. Should the Executor omit to do so he or she may be personally liable for such debts.
- Settling any testamentary family maintenance claims. Under Victorian Law, irrespective of the terms of any Will, a ‘family member’ has legal rights in relation to an estate.
- Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance and compliance with the terms of the Will, or if there is no will, in accordance and compliance with the rules of intestacy.
We can help
Wollerman Shacklock lawyers have vast experience in representing clients’ in regard to the administration and distribution of estates
We can assist you with:
- Acting for executors named in a Will of a deceased person;
- Applying for Probate in an estate;
- Applying for Letters of Administration (in the event that a Will is deemed invalid or there is no Will);
- Deceased estate claims / defending deceased estates; and
- Supreme Court estate litigation.
Contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced probate lawyers