Probate And Other Grants Of Representation
There are three main types of grant in respect of the estate of a deceased person: Grant of probate, Grant of letters of administration of the will; and Grant of letters of administration (of an intestate estate);
What is Grant of Probate
If you are named as executor in someone’s will, you have the responsibility of carrying out the terms of their will when they die. This means that you have to look after their property (commonly known as their ‘estate’).
To carry out the terms of the will, you may have to apply for probate, which is the court’s official recognition that:
- The will is legally valid; and
- You are authorised to deal with the estate.
Obtaining a grant of probate means that you are protected as an executor should a person claim that the will is not the last will and testament of the deceased.
Grants of Letters of Administration with the Will
A grant of letters of administration with the will may be granted in circumstances where all of the executors named in a will have predeceased the deceased.
Grants of Letters of Administration (of an Intestate Estate)
A grant of letters of administration (of an intestate estate) may be granted in circumstances where a person dies without a valid will, otherwise known as intestate. In such circumstances the estate will be distributed in accordance with the relevant provisions of the laws of intestacy.
Your Duties as Representative will include:
- Gathering or taking control of estate property;
- Lodging tax returns and finalising tax affairs;
- Advertising for any debts owing, and paying those debts out;
- Finalising any financial or business affairs;
- Paying out legacies; and
- Distributing or transferring the estate property in accordance with the will.
Acting as a representative is an important responsibility. You must be very careful in your administration of an estate. As a representative, you can be held accountable for any losses that may arise from the incorrect administration of the estate. We can advise you as a representative in respect of your duties and the preparation and undertaking of distributions to the beneficiaries.