Dealing with the passing of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time and we understand that Deceased Estates Administration can be quite daunting and confronting. At Smythe Wozniak Lawyers, our goal is to assist and advise you in relation to what needs to be done to administer and distribute the estate of your departed loved one. We will help you navigate this process in as simple and hassle-free way as possible.
What should you do after the passing of a loved one?
The first thing that must be done when someone passes is that you must; Contact the Doctor and obtain and death certificate if not already issued. Contact a funeral director and organise the funeral. Contact any utility companies and banks that you are aware of regarding the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
What is Probate?
Once your loved one has passed away, if they have prepared a Will and have assets over a certain value, the asset holders (banks etc.) will ask you to obtain “Probate” before they will release any funds. Probate is the process by which The Supreme Court will ensure that the Will of the deceased is a valid Will and authorises the Executor to administer the estate in accordance with the Will. If you are the executor named in a deceased’s Will, you can contact us to obtain advice as to your responsibilities as executor and the next steps which are required to be taken in order to comply with your legal requirements as executor. The executor is the person who will have the responsibility to ensure that the Will is administered and all assets and liabilities are collected, organise the funeral if not already done and apply for probate within six months of the date of death. Please contact our office to make an appointment to discuss any questions you may have. Our friendly staff will be available to advise you what next steps need to be taken.
What are letters of Administration?
When a person passes away without a Will or where there is an issue with the validity of the Will the Supreme Court will need to authorise the applicant who is to administer the estate. The process by which this is done is called Letters of Administration and is similar to an application for Probate. The Duties of an administrator are very similar to those of an executor. It also means that an administrator has legal duties which they must comply with. Our friendly and qualified staff will be available to explain the role and responsibilities that you as the administrator will have to comply with and will explain what the next steps need to be taken. At Smythe Wozniak Lawyers, we will explain the fee structure specific to estate administration matters, so that you can have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what fees and charges are applicable from the very start. Please contact our staff in our Estates Department to obtain a quote to make an appointment on (02) 9623 8666 or email us.