Estate administration can be an involved processed, and must be done correctly. If you have been appointed as the Executor of an estate, there are a number of steps that you will need to follow.
As an executor, your duties will include the following:
- Arrange for the assets of the deceased to come under your control as the Executor.
- Pay any debts of the deceased.
- Secure all of the deceased’s assets and ensure that adequate insurance policies are in place.
- Ascertain whether the deceased had an existing life policy.
- Organise the taxation affairs of the deceased and their estate.
- Keep proper records of all dealings with the estate.
- Contact all beneficiaries and advise them of their interests in the Will.
- Distribute the residue of the estate (after all expenses are paid), to the beneficiaries of the Will.
Applying for Probate or Letters of Administration
To carry out the terms of the will, you may have to apply for probate or letters of administration. These are the Supreme Court’s official recognition that the Will is legally valid, or where there is no Will (and you are the next of kin), that you are authorised to deal with the estate.
In order to obtain probate or letters of administration the executors must first advertise their intention to obtain probate or letters of administration in the local newspaper of the area where the deceased resided and in the Queensland Law Reporter, as well as notifying the Public Trustee.
Advertising ensures that anyone else holding a more recent Will been signed by the deceased can be identified. Any creditors of the estate will be also notified.
After the prescribed time limits have expired in relation to the advertising, an application is then made to the Supreme Court. This process takes approximately 8-12 weeks from the date of death.
How we can help
The advertising process can be quite involved, and it is essential that it be done correctly. The experienced Estate lawyers at Streten Masons Lawyers can assist you in the entire process of obtaining probate or letters of administration. Contact us if you have any questions or wish to arrange a consultation regarding estate administration.