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Letters of Administration.

Grant of Letters of Administration.

What you need to know.

What is a Grant of Letters of Administration?

A Grant of Letters of Administration is a Court Order that enables you to look after your loved one’s estate if there is an issue with the Will – or if there is no Will. Same as a Grant of Probate, it is proof the Court approves of you being in charge – aka the Administrator – so that the organisations holding your loved one’s assets (banks, nursing homes, land titles office, share registries, etc) are able to release the assets on your direction.

Letters-of-administration
Letters-of-administration

A Grant of Letters of Administration is a Court Order that enables you to look after your loved one’s estate if there is an issue with the Will – or if there is no Will. Same as a Grant of Probate, it is proof the Court approves of you being in charge – aka the Administrator – so that the holders of your loved one’s assets (banks, nursing homes, land titles office, share registries, etc) are able to release the assets on your direction.

Why do I need Letters of Administration?

There might be several organisations that ask for a Grant of Probate – or a Grant of Letters of Administration – before releasing assets. This is so the organisation can protect themselves that they are releasing assets to the right person(s) by requiring this Court Order confirming you are authorised as Administrator.

Take our free online quiz here to find out if you need Letters of Administration.

Who can apply for Letters of Administration?

This is where it gets trickier. Put simply, if there’s a Will with issues, the majority beneficiary(ies) will need to apply. If there’s no Will, the NSW intestacy laws kick in and the beneficiary(ies) under intestacy will need to apply.

What if the beneficiaries can’t apply for Letters of Administration?

If the beneficiary is incapacitated, their Attorney under their Power of Attorney can do it. If a beneficiary is a minor (under 18 years old), their legal guardian can apply for them.

Why choose Copeland Estates Legal to be your Estates lawyer?

Copeland Estates Legal provides legal advice and documents prepared by an experienced lawyer who deals exclusively in Estate Planning law and Deceased Estates law. You know, the whole life cycle.  And so you know you are getting the best result and protection for you as executor – and for the ultimate benefit of beneficiaries. Because we take the time to provide you with information and advice so you have a mud map of where we need to go and how we will get there. Distress, miscommunication and confusion have no place when you’re legally responsible for managing your loved one’s deceased estate. Probate law is not simply an additional service or an afterthought for us, it is our reason for being, our raison d’être

Administration and distribution of estate

Not only can we apply for and obtain Letters of Administration for you, we can also take care of all of the administration and distribution stages of your loved one’s estate:

  • If there are bank accounts, we can prepare the paperwork and arrange release of monies.
  • If there’s property or real estate we can look after the conveyancing and/or transmission of property to Administrators.
  • If there are shares, we can arrange transmission to beneficiaries or sale through a broker
  • If there is superannuation, we can help and guide you through the often voluminous paperwork.
  • Distribution to beneficiaries:
    • Preparing a Distribution  Statement confirming the breakdown of how the estate will be distributed.
    • Accounting of the assets and liabilities of the estate for beneficiaries.
    • Calculating and confirming each beneficiary’s entitlement.
    •  If there’s property we can transmit the property to beneficiaries.

Online and mobile law firm

And unlike traditional law firms, we look after you from the comfort of your own home. We are online for your convenience. No need to carve out a section of your busy day to drive to a stuffy lawyer’s office and wait for them to get around to seeing you. We use everyday, accessible technology – such as zoom, phone, email – to meet you, get to know you, answer your questions and provide you with the right legal advice and prepare the right legal documents to make sure your loved one’s wishes are carried out.

How do I apply for Letters of Administration?

You need to get a copy of the Will (if any), compile a list of all assets (e.g. accounts/investments/insurances/property/mortality benefits/etc) and book in a free 10 minute chat with a lawyer here or send us an email here or at [email protected] so we can help you and guide you through the process.

We’ll look after you.

Letters of Administration FAQ

How long does Letters of Administration take?

Generally it will take about 3 to 4 months to file documents with the Supreme Court from the date we receive your formal instructions to act in your loved one’s estate. It is not uncommon for the Court to ask further questions or “requisitions” in these matters and this can extend the timeframe of obtaining the Grant.

Who pays for legal fees to get Letters of Administration and look after a deceased estate?

The estate itself. All legal fees and costs are paid or reimbursed from the estate before it is distributed. It is only in rare cases that you would need to pay for any fees from your own pocket.

How do I pay for the funeral?

Funerals are a “priority” cost which banks will pay using monies from your loved one’s account, even when those accounts are frozen. You will need to take the funeral invoice and the Medical Cause of Death Certificate (the informal doctor’s certificate) to your loved one’s bank when requesting they arrange payment. We can help you with this. Quick tip: banks will rarely reimburse you for paying for funeral or estate expenses so it is best to ask for the bank to make direct payment.

How do I pay for the Letters of Administration filing fee?

Most banks will release monies to pay for the filing fee in applying for Probate or Letters of Administration. We can assist you in arranging release of funds from your loved one’s bank for this purpose.

How do I sign Letters of Administration papers?

If you are local, we will travel to your home or office and arrange signature. If not local, we will send documents to you by registered mail with clear guides of where to sign. You will need to arrange for a Justice of the Peace (JP) to witness your signature. JPs in NSW in your local area can be found here: https://www.jp.nsw.gov.au/findajp

I have paid bills for the estate, can I get reimbursed?

Yes, estate expenses can get reimbursed once monies are available after Letters of Administration is granted. Make sure to hold on to the tax invoices and receipts of payment.