Estate Administration Lawyers

Our Estate Administration Lawyers offer expert advice on every aspect of estate administration.

An executor must wear many hats to efficiently administer an estate and has a legal responsibility to get it right. It is essential that estate assets are preserved and the deceased’s wishes are – taking into account beneficiary needs – fully observed. Getting an even balance between competing interests can be hard.

Estate Administration Lawyers – Why do you need them?

That’s where experienced Estate Administration lawyers add value. For will interpretation and the A-Z protocol of estate administration, there’s no better source of knowledge and expertise just a phone call or email away.

For big decisions like dealing appropriately with beneficiary requests and demands that may come from outsiders, expert and accessible legal help is definitely a must. Not least to avoid potential disputes or deal with unwelcome litigation.

Big decisions are also called for if the will provides for the maintenance and education of infant children or requires the administration of funds or property by way of a trust.

Our estate administration lawyers in Brisbane are experts in these fields.

Whether you’re managing the estate of a deceased loved one or performing a professional role for a large family fund, retaining experienced estate administration lawyers will provide clarity and help you make all the correct decisions.  You can rely on our knowledge, experience and efficiency to give you peace of mind by knowing the estate is in the safest of hands.

Estate Administration Lawyers

Obtaining Probate of Will

The person administering a deceased person’s will usually require the legal authorisation of the Supreme Court before any assets can be collected or distributed. This authority is referred to as the grant of probate of the will. In Australia, most banks and financial institutions will not release the balance of a deceased person’s bank account - other than for small balances - until probate has been obtained.

The person named as executor of the will is usually responsible for applying for probate.

If the person named in the will as executor has died or is unwilling to act, someone else can apply to the court for a grant of "letters of administration" i.e. authority to administer the will. (See below).

If you require a court order - either probate or letters of administration - our estate lawyers can assist you with all aspects of probate law.

There are some circumstances in which probate won’t be required. These include:

  • If the deceased person’s estate is relatively small
  • For transfer of particular real estate to a beneficiary if provided for in the will
  • transfer of the deceased's share in an asset to the surviving joint owner.

Our estate lawyers can determine whether you need probate for letters of administration. For more information, go to Probate of Will

Use our free online Assessment Tool to decide if you are likely to need probate or letters of administration.

Letters of Administration

If a person passes away without a valid will, a family member or next of kin can apply to the court for authority to collect and distribute their assets. Such authority is called "letters of administration on intestacy" and is issued by the Supreme Court. Banks will require  letters of administration to be obtained  before they will release any bank funds from the deceased's accounts, in these circumstances.

Where there is a will but no executor named or able to act (eg they have died or do not want to act), someone else can apply to the court for “letters of administration with the will” instead of the grant of probate that is given to an executor.

The court will grant letters of administration to a spouse or child of the deceased or even someone to whom the deceased owes money.

If the person named in the will as executor has died or is unwilling to act, someone else can apply to the court for what would have been, had the executor applied for it - a grant of probate. In this instance, however, grant issued is also a grant of letters of administration. This includes advice on the best course to take and preparing the necessary documentation which can be confusing to navigate otherwise.

For more information, go to Letters of Administration

Use our free online Assessment Tool to decide if you are likely to need probate or letters of administration.

Executor's duties

Executors and administrators have specific duties to perform for which they are accountable. The primary accountabilities of the role include:

  • Locating their will
  • Taking steps to identify and secure the deceased person’s assets
  • Obtaining a grant ie of probate or letters of administration
  • Identifying and communicating with beneficiaries
  • Distributing assets

Our estate lawyers can help you manage the legal responsibilities involved with acting as executor of an estate. For more information, go to Executor duties, responsibilities and risks

  1. Use our free online Assessment Tool to see the first steps you should be taking as executor or administrator
  2. Use our free online Assessment Tool to guide you through the estate administration process to its conclusion

Payment to Executors and Administrators

Some wills specify that the executor of the estate be paid for their services. in the absence of a specific provision in the will, an executor or administrator may still be entitled to be remunerated.

Certainly they can recover all expenses they incur from the estate. They are also generally entitled to "commission" the amount of which depends on the "pains and troubles" he or she sustained in administering the estate.   Payment to an executor – if not provided for in the will – requires the authorisation of the court or the agreement of all the beneficiaries.

You should always speak with a lawyer before making any decisions regarding payment to an executor. For more information, go to Payment for Executor

Use our free online Assessment Tool to calculate what remuneration is potentially payable to the person acting as executor or administrator.

Start the Process

Contact our Wills and Estate lawyers by sending us an email and we’ll get in touch shortly, or phone between 8:30AM and 5:00PM Monday to Friday — we would be delighted to speak.

Office hours — 1300 580 413

Monday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

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