If someone dies without having a will in place, the estate goes through probate, and this is a court-supervised process. However, if someone dies with a will, the estate undergoes the intestate estate administration process. It won’t start until the court picks an administrator that they use to oversee the estate’s management and distribution, and this is where the letters of administration come in.
A letter of administration of an estate is a court-issued document that gives a person the authority to act as an appointed administrator for the estate. This person is then allowed to access and manage the deceased’s assets, like real estate properties or financial accounts.
If you want to apply for a letter of administration in NSW, you’ll file an application with your state or territory court. You’ll have to get a death certificate and present it with your application for your letters. Next, you’ll have to create a list of relatives and contact them. The goal is to alert any potential heirs or beneficiaries in this step and inform them that they may inherit a part of the estate or want to step in and take the Administrator role.
Once you alert the family, it’s time to list any debts or assets the deceased had, including mortgages, property, bank accounts, loans, credit cards, investments and life insurance policies. The court will accept estimates if you can’t get exact amounts. You can now file the application for the Grant of Letters of Administration. To do so, you have to be over 18 years old and an Australian citizen, and many territories or states don’t allow felonies on your record.
You apply for the letters of administration if the person died without a will (intestate) or they failed to name an executor in a valid will. You’d also apply for these letters if the named executor is unable or unwilling to fulfil this role. You have six months from the date of death to apply, unless you can provide a reasonable explanation for a longer delay.
As long as you file your letter of administration of the estate with all of the necessary documents, the process will take between one and four months. If you don’t have the necessary documents included with the application, you’ll experience delays.
If a loved one dies without a will or estate plan, you will need one of these letters. A letter of administration with no will can help ensure that the estate goes through the probate process and the court correctly divides any assets between the beneficiaries.
Applying for Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed is an application you submit to prove a will without being named as the original executor of the will. You’d make this application if the named executor is unwilling or unable to carry out their responsibilities and has renounced the right to obtain a Grant of Probate or if the executor died. Under these circumstances, the main heirs named in the will can apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed with the court.
If you need a letter of administration with or without a will, we can help. Contact our office and allow our team to guide you through this process. We’ll make sure you have all of the necessary documents to avoid costly delays and help move the estate through the probate process.