The death of a loved one can be a difficult and emotional time for family and friends. In the time following your loss it is necessary to legally finalise the affairs of the deceased in relation to the assets and liabilities of the estate.
The process of finalising an estate will depend on the number and value of assets that are left behind, the type of ownership of those assets and the existence of a valid Will.
In some cases where the value of the estate is relatively small it is not necessary to obtain any legal authority to deal with the estate. If there is a Will the assets can be distributed in the accordance with the directions contained therein after the debts of the estate have been attended to. In other cases the law requires that a grant of probate is obtained when a valid Will exists, or an application for letters of administration be made where the person has died intestate.
The team at Cameron Legal have a wealth of experience in attending to the finalisation of a deceased estate in all circumstances. They will ensure that the process is completed swiftly with the upmost care and sensitivity.
A grant of probate is the legal recognition of the last Will left by a deceased person. It is a document which provides an executor named in the will the authority to handle and distribute the assets of the deceased estate.
The team at Cameron Legal can prepare and lodge an application for a grant of probate with the Supreme Court and attend to the collection and distribution of assets in accordance with the wishes of the deceased as detailed in the Will.
Letters of Administration
In some situations the deceased has not left a valid Will or the named executor in a Will is unable to act in this role. In these cases a grant of probate cannot be made. Rather, an application for Letters of Administration is made with the Court. This application is made by the individual who is to act as the estate administrator and step into the role of the executor.
Where there is no Will the distribution of estate assets is determined by law.
Family Provision Claims
The law permits each of us to leave our estate to whomever we choose through the creation of a valid Will. However, there is also a societal expectation that an individual will make provisions for certain people. This has been acknowledged through legislation that allows eligible person to make a claim on an estate based on what is known as a family provision claim.
In these situations the Court is asked to adjust the provisions made in a Will. The basis of such an adjustment is made on a number of factors including but not limited to the size of the estate and the present and future needs of the persons who are eligible to benefit from the estate.
The team at Cameron Legal can provide you with expert advice regarding the validity and strength of both bringing and defending a family provision claim.