The procedural steps required when a loved one passes can be difficult.

If you have been named the executor of a Will, there are a series of legal steps required when dealing with the administration of the deceased's estate.

Valid Will

Where the deceased had a valid Will, you first need to apply to the Supreme Court of New South Wales for 'probate' of their Will. Probate refers to a document granted by the Supreme Court that gives the executor of an estate the legal authority to deal with the deceased's estate.

Obtaining Probate is crucial as it allows for institutions such as banks and share registries to release estate funds for dissemination to the beneficiaries. Further, probate is needed for the executor to sell or deal with the deceased's property including transferring it to the names of the beneficiaries.

Intestacy (no will)

If the deceased dies without a valid Will, a family member will then have to apply to the court to be appointed as administrator of the estate. This is otherwise known as seeking 'letters of administration'.

In New South Wales, letters of administration must be applied for within 6 months from the date of death, unless there is a reasonable explanation for the delay. If an application for administration is made after 6 months, an affidavit of delay must be filed at the Supreme Court explaining why.

Understanding Probate Administration: Let our videos explain.

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