When a person dies without a valid Will (which can occur more often than you may think) a person will need to apply for Letters of Administration to the Supreme Court of NSW. The Letters of Administration process allows the person to deal with assets and administer the estate according to the law in NSW.
The grant of Letters of Administration allows the person who has been granted the administration (the Administrator) the ability to manage the estate. The Administrator will be liable to collect the assets of the deceased and distributing the remaining assets of the deceased to the beneficiary.
But what do you need to do when you need to apply for Letters of Administration?
The key thing is that you try and make the application as soon as possible (within 6 months) if possible. However, here is our quick run down of the what the Process of Letters Administration entails.
Go searching for a Will.
The Court needs to be satisfied that the deceased did not leave a Will. This means that you have to go searching (or have someone like us) the Will. For instance if you are from Penrith, you will need to check with all of the local Penrith law firms to see if the deceased left a will. This is would be similar process if you are from Richmond or Parramatta.
Establish who is to receive a gift from the Will and who can apply to be the Administrator.
As the Administrator you will need to set out the people who you believe would be entitled to the estate under intestacy rules. This done by way of an affidavit and can get quite complex depending on the deceased’s family situation.
File the Application
From this point, we will assist in the process of drafting the Application and filing it with the Court. The Court may then ask you a various range of questions (known as requisitions) which you will be required to answer before the Application is granted. Depending on the questions you are asked, the ability to gift to beneficiaries may be delayed.
In a nutshell this is the process of obtaining a Letters of Administration order from the Supreme Court of NSW. Whilst this process is difficult to comprehend, it can be made easier with appropriate legal advice.
If you need any assistance with an application of this type, please give us a call on 02 4721 6200.
Written by Cameron Spanner.