When a person dies it is often the case that a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration is required for the Estate to be distributed to beneficiaries. There are four types of Grants that the Supreme Court can issue:
- Probate- Meaning the deceased died with a valid will in existence and there is an Executor;
- Letters of Administration (with the Will)- Meaning that the deceased died with a valid will in existence but the Executor is unable to fulfil their duty;
- Letters of Administration (Intestacy)- No valid will in existence;
- A reseal of a Grant.
Often institutions such as banks, share companies, superannuation or insurance companies require a Grant before they distribute the assets in accordance with the Grant especially when the asset in question exceeds $50,000 (although it is up to the discretion of the company).
A Grant of Probate is a document issued by the Supreme Court which confirms that the Deceased has a Will which was valid and that the Executor is entitled to administer the Estate to the nominated beneficiaries.
A Grant of Letters of Administration (Intestacy) is a documents issued by the Supreme Court which confirms that the Deceased did not leave a Will and request that a person or persons be appointed as the Administrator of the Estate allowing them to distribute the assets. In order to obtain a grant of Letter of Administration it is necessary to contact all relevant institutions and solicitors to enquire as to the possible existence of a Will before making an Application.
To obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration there are necessary steps that need to occur such as:
- Publishing a Probate or Letters of Administration notice;
- Writing to each asset/liability company to ascertain the Estate;
- Completing all necessary documents and making an application;
- Responding to Requisitions from the Court;
- Calling in the assets;
- Waiting until 6 months after the date of death to distribute;
- Distribute Estate.
The loss of a loved one is exceptionally stressful and it is recommended that you obtain advice as to what Grant is necessary to distribute the Estate.