What is a grant of representation?
A grant of representation is a legal order issued by the Court which enables an executor or administrator to deal with a deceased person's assets. Previously, grants of representation were paper documents sealed by the Court. The Court has now implemented electronic filing, and all grants of representation issued after 1 July 2020 are electronic – you will be provided with a secure link and access code to the Court document.
In most circumstances, without a grant of representation, you will not be able to deal with any of the deceased person's accounts, sell or transfer their property or ensure their debts are paid.
There are three main types of grants:
Grant of Probate
A Grant of Probate formally authorises an executor, named in a Will, to manage the estate of a deceased person.
Letters of Administration with Will Annexed
Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed are issued when a deceased has left a valid Will, but a person other than the executor is applying because the executor cannot, or will not, apply for a grant of representation.
Letters of Administration
If there is no Will, then Letters of Administration are the proper grant of representation to enable you to deal with the deceased's estate. This grant of representation is usually obtained by the person who is the closest next-of-kin to the deceased.
Do I Need a Grant of Representation?
A grant of representation will be necessary where the deceased owned real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common. A grant of representation will also be necessary where an institution in which the deceased owned assets requires a grant, prior to releasing assets. Each institution has their own requirements as to whether a grant of representation is required. Often, the value of the assets held will determine whether a grant is required.
Where the deceased's assets are jointly owned, a grant of representation may not be required. In these circumstances, it will often simply be a matter of attending the particular bank of the account holder with the death certificate to transfer the accounts to the surviving joint holder.
This also includes real estate owned as a joint proprietor. In these circumstances, an application will need to be made to Land Use Victoria by the surviving proprietor to have the name of the deceased removed from the Certificate of Title.
Applying for a Grant of Representation
If you require expert legal assistance when applying for an application for a grant of representation, or simply need assistance with grants of representation in general, please contact one of our lawyers on 1300 205 506.
The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
For further information contact
Mitchell is the Managing Principal of our law practice.
He is an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Law (accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria). He also deals with areas of Employment Law, Wills & Estate Planning and Probate. For further information, contact Mitchell on his direct line (03) 8561 3318.