Estate Administration

The Administration of a deceased estate involves the management of a deceased person’s affair’s following their death. The management of such a matter can be both a hard and complex process, which will often occur at a very difficult time in the executor’s life, that is whilst they are mourning the loss of a loved one.

How we can assist you:

Application for Probate

Probate is the Supreme Court’s recognition that a Will is legally valid and will most commonly be granted for the Deceased’s most recent Will.

A grant is a Supreme Court document that recognises that you are authorised to deal with the estate of the deceased person.

As the executor of a deceased estate, you may need probate before you can take control of and otherwise deal with the estate’s assets, such as the transfer of assets held by third parties into the estate or the transfer of property to the Beneficiaries under the Will.

There are a series of steps that need to be followed to acquire a grant of Probate, in summary they are: Advertise your intention to apply, Give a copy of your notice to the Public Trustee, Allow persons time to object, Prepare the Application and File in the Supreme Court. Once the Application has been filed it normally takes the Court 4 – 6 Weeks to provide a grant of Probate, assuming there are no issues with the Application. This time does vary depending on the time of year and how busy the court is.

Whilst Probate is often required, it isn’t always. Some property depending how it is held by the deceased prior to passing, may automatically vest in someone else. For example, Real Property held by two persons as joint tenants, following the death of one party will automatically vest in the other. Similar is the case for bank accounts held jointly. This is normally how property is held between a marital couple.

If you aren’t sure if you need Probate, or have any questions concerning the Administration of an Estate, please feel free to contact our office to arrange a consultation or you can even book online. In preparation for your consultation please locate the Original version of the Deceased’s Will and compile a summary list of the Estate Assets as we will need these items to be able to advise you appropriately.

Should you wish to engage us to apply for Probate on your behalf, We offer a Fixed Price Service of $3,744.30(inc) for a Standard Probate Application which includes preparation of the Application for Probate with supporting docs, Law Reporter Advertising Fee ($161.70) and Supreme Court Filing Fee ($722.60).


Interstate Applications for Probate and Management of Assets outside of Queensland

The Executor of an Estate can apply for the Grant of Probate in a state other than Queensland. The best state to seek Probate in is where the majority of the assets of the Estate are located, such as the residential home of the Deceased for example.

The Application process and cost does differ depending on which jurisdiction Probate is sought. We can assist with the Application for a Grant of Probate in a different State and advise clients on the Administration of Estates where assets are located across numerous jurisdictions.

Answers to questions we commonly receive:

Who is entitled to a copy of the Will?

A person mentioned in the will, whether as beneficiary or not and whether named or not; or

A person mentioned in any earlier will of the testator as a beneficiary and whether named or not; or

A spouse, parent or issue of the testator (Issue including, Child, Step Child or Adoptive Child); or

A person who would be entitled to a share of the estate of the testator if the testator had died intestate; or

A parent or guardian of a minor mentioned in the will or who would be entitled to a share of the estate if the testator had died intestate; or

A creditor or other person who has a claim at law or in equity against the estate; or

A person who may apply for an order by the court.

Who pays for the expenses of the Estate?

The Costs associated with Administering an Estate will be paid by the Estate prior to Distribution.

Should the Estate not readily have funds available for bills which need to be paid promptly, for example a funeral ceremony, then those funds can be paid by another party who is entitled to be reimbursed by the Estate.

In the case of Funeral Expenses, some financial institutions are willing to provide payment from the deceased’s account prior to receipt of a Grant of Probate so long as their conditions are met.

What does the Executor do?

The role of an executor is to Administer an Estate consistent with the wishes of the Deceased. This will involve doing such things as required to effect the outcome sort within the Deceased’s Will, in most cases the sale and/or transfer of Real Property, Personal items and Monetary holdings of the deceased. 

The role of an executor is an important one, which is often given to someone that a Deceased views as a trustworthy individual to safe guard their interests once they are gone. 

Can I contest an Estate?

The First Step in contesting an Estate is to determine if you are eligible to do so. We have written a detailed article on this matter available here: Who can Contest an Estate? 

If you think you are eligible, the next step is to contact the Executor of the Estate to gain a copy of the Will and a List of the Assets of the Estate. 

We can assist you in determining if you are eligible, writing to the Executor on your behalf and representing you in the matter.


What are the Costs involved?

The Costs of Administering an Estate will vary depending on the size of the estate. A small Estate with little complications may only require an application for a Grant Probate to Administer the Estate. The cost of which is relatively minor by comparison to matters that require hearings before the court.

Given that each estate is different it is difficult to provide a set amount of what the costs involved might be without first reviewing what would be included within the administration of the Estate. This is why in the first instance it is preferable for new Clients to make an appointment to attend our office, in person. This way our Solicitor’s will have the opportunity to review the documentation related to the estate, receive your instructions and be in a better position to provide you with an estimate of costs.

We appreciate that in some cases the Executor of the Estate may not have the funds readily available to pay for all the costs incurred in managing the estate, prior to receipt of the Grant of Probate. Accordingly, in some cases we are willing to delay payment of our Professional Fees only until after the Grant of Probate has been given.

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