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Probate and Estate Administration
When a person dies, the Court must confirm that the Will is, in fact, valid and that the Executor has the authority to deal with the deceased's assets.
This approval, granted by the Supreme Court, is known as a Grant of Probate and is simply a recognition that the Will is, in fact, the last valid Will.
Unfortunately, some estates are subject to arguments between family members and others. These arguments can relate to the validity of a Will or about whether proper provision has been made for people related or close to the deceased person.
We assist you in preparing a Will. We can undertake estate administration including obtaining Grants of Probate where required. We can also assist you in any Probate litigation.
Letters of Administration – what if there is no Will?
If you die without a Will, or a valid Will, your closest next of kin can apply for Letters of Administration to administer your Estate, in the following order:
- lawful spouse or partner
- children, excluding step-children, but including adoptive children
- brothers or sisters
Rather than obtaining a Grant of Probate, your next of kin will obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration and thus become the Administrator of the Estate.
Where there is no Will, the Administrator will have to administer your Estate and distribute property to your partner, children or other relatives according to the laws of intestacy.
If you die with a Will but the Executor has died before you or is unable to act as Executor, the major beneficiary of the Estate can apply for Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed to administer the Estate pursuant to that Will.
It will be important to obtain legal advice if you are the next of kin of a loved one who has died without a Will. We can assist you to apply for Letters of Administration and provide advice on how the estate must be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy.