Before engaging with your family lawyer, it's worthwhile comparing their fees with our fees. It's just as quick and easy for Bare to arrange a Grant of Probate as your family and, more often than not, our fees are lower. If you have any questions about this, feel free to call our lawyers for no-obligation advice.
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Frequently asked questions.
Probate (where there is a will), or Letters of Administration (where there isn't a will) is the approval granted to an executor of a Will by the Supreme Court. Obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration means that the Court has formally recognised the authority of the executor to manage the estate of the deceased.
In most cases, without a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, the executor will be prevented from accessing and managing the assets of the estate. Occasionally a smaller estate will not require these documents to access and distribute the estate’s assets, but this is uncommon. We can help you understand whether, based on the size and type of assets in the estate, you will require either of these documents.
If there is no Will, it is most common that the next of kin of the deceased will apply to the Court for Letters of Administration. The distribution of the estate would then occur in accordance with particular rules of intestacy. The rules of intestacy are a set of rules that determine exactly who will receive a benefit from the estate and in what proportions.
A grant of probate is granted when the deceased held a Will and this Will is submitted to the Court. Letters of Administration are granted when someone passes away without a Will and someone close to the deceased (generally next of kin) applies to become the Administrator of the estate. If you're not sure what you will require, feel free to give our legal team a call and they'll be happy to give you some no-obligation advice.
Funeral expenses are considered an estate expense, this means that the deceased’s bank accounts can be used to pay for the funeral expenses. However, if any other person pays for the funeral expenses, they are entitled to be reimbursed for these expenses from the estate.
Obtaining a grant of probate (or letters of administration) is not the whole estate administration process. Before obtaining a grant of probate (or letters of administration) the death certificate must be obtained and information must be collected from any asset holders. An application for the grant can then be made and, when the grant is made by the Court, asset collection and distribution can be completed.
The estate administration can take between 6 – 12 months, this is generally impacted by the type of assets that need to be dealt with. For example, if property needs to be sold this can be a longer process to complete.