Administering an Estate

We assist executors and administrators in ensuring that estates are properly administered. Administering an estate can take anywhere from a few weeks to years, depending on the assets involved, the terms of the Will and beneficiaries.

Some common tasks of an executor and administrator include:

  • Calling in, selling or transferring assets
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Paying creditors
  • Completing tax returns for the deceased and estate
  • Establishing trusts
  • Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
  • Defending the estate from improper challenges or legal action.

Small estates

Some estates can be administered without the need for any formal processes such as a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration. This is usually in circumstances where:

Assets are owned jointly:

Most assets held jointly with a surviving party will automatically become the property of the surviving joint owner (there are some exceptions). There will still be steps required to complete a transfer to the surviving joint owner.

There are limited assets:

Many assets holders, such as banks and share registries, agree to make things a bit easier if they are not holding assets of any great value. They generally set a cap (most commonly less than a cap of between $15,000 – $30,000) under which they will release assets without insisting on a formal Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. Of course, you will still need to satisfy the asset holders that you are entitled to receive the funds and they will often ask for an ‘indemnity’ to protect them if it turns out they paid to the wrong person.

Can we assist you with administering an estate or finalising a small estate?

Get in touch

When you contact us you will soon discover that we really are caring lawyers who will always be ‘on your side®’.

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