Managing Deceased Estates
We understand what a difficult time it is for your family when a loved one dies. We can assist you with the management of a deceased estate by tailoring our advice and support to ensure all the advice the family needs. You will not have to manage the often tedious legal proceedings that are required in obtaining the grant of probate and administration of deceased estates.
The processes for the administration of a deceased estate can be very simple and straight forward to highly complex and time consuming. There are many complexities that can arise and to name a few:
- A person may die intestate – without a will;
- A will may be contested by people who believe they have a claim;
- A person’s assets or circumstances may have changed without their will being updated; or
- Executors may be unable or unwilling to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
Our team at Williams Barristers and Solicitors have the experience and just as importantly the sensitivity to work with you through the stages or administering the deceased estate regardless of the complexity.
Our role is to assist executors/trustees to fulfill their duties in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. There are many stages to the administration of a deceased estate and our expert team will be there to guide you each step of the way.
Our team also has extensive experience making applications for Letters of Administration in circumstances where a deceased has either not left a will or their appointed executors are unable or unwilling to act.
Challenge to a will or claim to the deceased estate
It is not uncommon these days for a will to be challenged. The most common grounds upon which a will can be challenged include:
- That the terms of the will are unclear, Invalid or incorrectly executed;
- That the testator executed the will under pressure from others or whilst the testator did not have capacity to sign the will due to mental illness; or
- That the testator did not make adequate provision for a spouse, child or other person entitled to provision from the estate.
Challenging a will or defending an estate from a challenge is time consuming, costly and complex. Applications must commence within six months of the grant of probate or letters of administration and we strongly advise that legal advice be sought at the earliest opportunity.
Letters of Administration and probate lawyers Adelaide
A grant of probate or letters of administration from the Supreme Court of South Australia provide authority to the executor/s or administrator/s to deal with assets and liabilities of an estate.
Where there is a will there will usually be an application to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate. To apply for a Grant of Probate specific legal documents will need to be completed and filed in the Probate Registry. There are strict rules and procedures around this process which require specialist knowledge to complete. Once Probate has been granted is provided the process of calling in all assets and liabilities will begin leading to the distribution of the estate according to the will.
If the person dies intestate or an administrator needs to be appointed for other reasons, there will need to be an application to the Supreme Court for a Letter of Administration. Once granted it will allow the administrator to proceed with calling in the assets and liabilities of the estate. If there is no will the assets will be distributed according to law rather than the wishes of the deceased.
A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration may not be required in all cases. Depending on the assets of the deceased estate, it may be possible to avoid the need for grant thereby saving the estate significant costs. You should always seek legal advice at an early stage to avoid the incursion of unnecessary costs.
We can take the pain out of these processes for you.
Our experienced team at Williams Barristers and Solicitors will provide the legal expertise to ensure deceased estates are administered as efficiently and stress free as possible.
We will manage the legal and administrative aspects so that you can focus on your family when they are most in need. We will work with you to:
- Ensure executor/s or administrator/s are identified and have the knowledge to undertake their role;
- Provide advice and manage any possible challenges to the estate;
- Undertake the preparation and drafting of the legal documents required to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration;
- Undertake the many administrative processes required to finalise an estate such as identifying assets, winding up bank accounts, paying outstanding liabilities and any other outstanding matters; and
- Distribute to beneficiaries.
We can help. Call our estate and probate lawyers in Adelaide on 08 84519040