Have you been appointed as an Executor of someone’s estate, or facing a situation where someone close to you has died without a valid will?
Our experienced estate lawyers in Adelaide, Salisbury and regional South Australia can help you administer a deceased estate and fulfil your obligations.
We understand that you’re already navigating the complexities of your loss, and are here to help manage your loved one’s affairs as simply as possible.
Our team of specialist estate lawyers can help you with every facet of the estate process, including applying for letters of administration, obtaining grant of probates, dealing with complex wills and estate scenarios, and even contesting a will when necessary.
If someone has died with a valid will, then the person nominated as the Executor is usually responsible for administering the estate. However, if the nominated Executor has died, or is unwilling to undertake the role, then the backup Executor may act.
If no Executor has been appointed, or no one is willing or able to act, then there’s an order of people who can apply for this role, depending on the distribution in the will.
If you’re in this situation and wondering what to do or who is the beneficiary if there’s no will, our team of estate lawyers in Adelaide, Salisbury and regional SA can help you:
Identify the assets and liabilities of an estate
Obtain Probate or Letters of Administration
Manage paying the debts of the estate
Attend to asset transfers and sales
Engage an accountant to organise personal or estate tax returns
Register the death on any jointly owned assets (for example, real estate)
Administer the Estate
So what happens if you don’t have a will?
The manner in which the estate is administered and distributed is set out in the Administration and Probate Act 1919 (SA). If you’re facing any of these situations and need assistance, or you’re not sure how to obtain probate, get in touch with our team to see how we can help you navigate this process.
A Grant of Probate is a legal document that authorises an Executor/s or Administrator/s to carry out the deceased person’s wishes and manage their estate according to what was outlined in their will.
Depending on the assets of the estate, you may need to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration in order to be recognised by institutes and third parties as the person entitled to deal with the assets of the estate. Our team of estate lawyers in Adelaide, Salisbury and regional SA can help guide you through this process.
Also referred to as a Grant of Probate, a Letter of Administration authorises an Executor/s or Administrator/s to deliver on the deceased person’s wishes and manage their estate in accordance with their will.
Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration need to be applied for in the following circumstances:
If you are unsure whether you need to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration, contact one of our specialist estates lawyers and probate lawyers in Adelaide and regional SA and they’ll be able to advise you.
An Executor or Administrator can submit an application without the assistance of a solicitor, but it’s advisable not to. Our specialist estate lawyers in Adelaide and regional SA will provide you with advice throughout the administration of the estate to make sure that you’re fulfilling your role and administer the estate properly.
The Administration and Probate Act 1919 (SA) sets out who, and in what priority, is entitled to act as the Administrator (the person who is responsible for administering an estate when there’s no will).
Usually priority is as follows: spouse or domestic partner, child or children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, grandparents and then aunts and uncles.
For more information on this, read dying without a will – who administers the estate or get in touch with our team of estate litigation attorneys and estate lawyers in Adelaide and regional SA.
The Administration and Probate Act 1919 (SA) also sets out who, and in what priority, is entitled to the estate. This depends on the deceased's personal circumstances and the size of the estate. For more information on this, read dying without a will - who is entitled to the estate? or get in touch with our regional and Adelaide-based estate lawyers.
There is no stipulated time frame to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration, but it’s advisable that the Executor or Administrator should attend to do so as soon as possible.
Contracts for Wills are complex and are not suitable for all blended families and specialist legal advice should be sort before entering into such Contract
Many people don’t stop to think about the effect marriage, registration of a defacto relationship, divorce or deregistration of a defacto relationship will have on their will.