Unfortunately, most people in their lifetime will suffer the loss of a family member or close friend. These can be quite difficult times and they can get even more difficult depending on whether or not a Will has been made.
A Will specifies how the estate of the deceased is to be distributed. It also appoints someone to be the executor of the estate.
The executor, to put it simply, is someone who steps into the shoes of the deceased and carries out their wishes set out in the Will. Executors have strict duties to ensure that the terms of the Will are carried out lawfully.
These duties can include notifying banks and other organisations of the deceased’s death, determining the entitlements of beneficiaries, paying the liabilities of the deceased and any claims that may arise in relation to the estate.
Generally after the funeral, the first and most important role is considering whether a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court of South Australia needs to be obtained.
What is a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is an order of the Supreme Court which confirms the authority of a personal representative to administer the estate of the deceased person.
There are normally three different types of non-contentious grants, being:
- Grant of Probate – this means that the Will has been proved by the Court.
- Grant of Administration with the Will annexed – this is usually issued where there is a Will, but no executors.
- Grant of Letters of Administration – this is issued where there is an intestacy (no Will).
Some people confusingly refer to all three of the above Grants as “Probate”.
When is Probate required?
It can sometimes be difficult to know whether a Grant is needed or not.
However, a Grant is needed when:
- A person requires the Personal Representative to prove title to any assets of the estate.
- Where the Personal Representative commences litigation on behalf of the estate.
- A person wishes to institute proceedings under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (SA).
An example of a person requiring the Personal Representative to prove title to an asset of the estate is where the deceased owned land in their sole name or as a tenant in common, and the Personal Representative is now selling that land.
What can we do for you?
The process involved in applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration can be quite complex and involves the drafting of precise legal documents.
An application, if not prepared properly, may take many months to complete successfully.
If you have any questions as to when it is appropriate to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, Georgiadis Lawyers can help.
Please contact Georgiadis Lawyers today on 8210 5400 if you are interested in more information on Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration.