When a person passes away leaving an estate, it is important for their assets to be called in and wound up. Authority from the Court is required for a person to do this on behalf of an estate. The authority is obtained by an executor/administrator making an application for a Grant of Representation. There are three types of Grants:
1. Grant of Probate - where the application is made by the appointed Executor under the deceased’s last valid Will;
2. Letters of Administration - when a deceased person dies without a valid Will, their next of kin or a party with the greatest interest in the estate will apply; and
3. Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed - where a deceased person has left a Will but the appointed Executor is not competent, willing to undertake the responsibilities involved in dealing with the estate, or no longer alive, the Court may appoint another person to administer the estate.
Once a grant has been made by the Court, the nominated Executor or Administrator then has the authority to start administering the estate in accordance with the Will or under the laws of intestacy.
A grant of Representation is not generally required if there is no real property or cash funds are less than $50,000.00.
Dealing with a deceased’s estate can be a tedious experience if you are not familiar the process. If you require assistance with the administration of an estate, please contact our office for further information and advice.