Estate Administration

Estate administration is a term coined to describe the process of managing another person’s affairs after they die. Essentially the administration process will depend on whether or not the deceased leaves a valid Will and the size and value of the estate.

Often the administration of an estate can be complicated and time consuming. If a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are required an application to the Supreme Court will be essential. If an application to the Supreme Court is required there are time frames, rules and procedures that must be complied with.

Given that the deceased’s personal representative may be held personally liable in certain instances if they do not properly administer the estate, it is recommended that any person appointed to administer the affairs of another seek legal advice and/or assistance.

An Overview Of The Process

As a broad overview the administration process will typically involve the following steps:

  • Determining whether or not a valid Will is in existence;
  • Identifying the personal representative and beneficiaries;
  • Identifying the assets and liabilities of the estate;
  • Identifying assets that will be transferred or distributed outside of a Will or Rules of Intestacy;
  • Determining whether or not an application for a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration will be required;
  • Calling up the assets of the estate;
  • Transferring assets of the estate into the name of the personal representative for the purposes of administration;
  • Paying the liabilities of the estate;
  • Distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries or placing assets on trust pursuant to the Will.

Challenging An Estate

In the event that a party believes that adequate provision has not been made to them by the deceased then that person may be eligible to challenge the estate provided they meet several criteria prescribed by legislation.

It is important to note that strict time frames and procedures must be complied with in order to challenge an estate.

We strongly recommend that any party contemplating the challenge of an estate or any personal representative who has received notice of a challenge promptly seek legal advice as a claim for provision involves litigation if it is not resolved.

How We Can Help

We can help you by:

  • Advising the personal representative of their legal position, rights and obligations;
  • Taking a hands on approach in managing the administration of the estate;
  • Providing expert advice and knowledge in handling estate affairs;
  • Providing representation when challenging or defending a challenge to an estate.

For further information please contact: