Facing problems with the letters of administration is common. Especially when you are the deceased’s next of kin in Australia, and you find yourself having to take complete charge to dispose of their estate and other liabilities.
Many people fall into the despair of messing things up simply because they don’t know much about the intricacies of probate or probate services. That is why they need to have an in-depth knowledge of probate and know the precise procedure they must follow to get things done. ,
This post is in fact, an attempt to sensitise you about the procedure that you must follow so that you can lawfully administer the deceased’s estate while remaining in compliance with the laid out laws and procedures.
What is Probate?
Administering an estate after a decedent passes away is known as probate. People usually hire probate services to manage and handle everything that falls in the legal purview of handling their estate. The probate court system in the jurisdiction where the decedent resided is responsible for this. If the decedent has a will, the probate process will mainly include
- confirming Will’s legality,
- carrying out its instructions,
- letter of administration, and
- paying any appropriate taxes.
Probate proceedings can be complex for an ordinary person; probate must be less-worded and clear to ensure that the process runs smoothly. Last wills and testaments should specify not only who inherits the estate’s assets (mostly the next of kin in Australia) but also who will look after any minor children or dependents who were under the decedent’s authority, as well as the ExecutorExecutor of the Will.
If the decedent dies without a will, the probate court system is entrusted with determining how assets should be distributed based on the intestate rules of the state where the probate proceedings are taking place. The majority of the cases are complicated and messed up, with disagreements over asset distribution and child custody. Families and others having a stake in the decedent’s estate are strongly advised to consult with a probate lawyer who specializes in estate law and managing these instances to guarantee they get the best possible outcome.
Steps of probate
It is crucial to have a guide to help you understand and learn the probate steps and proceedings so that you can secure a successful resolution in this case. Here’s a breakdown of the five primary processes in the probate procedure to help you understand it better. While the specifics will differ depending on the state’s laws in which the estate is being probated, the core stages will be the same in all cases.
1. Open the probate
Your first step as a next of kin in Australia is to submit a petition in the probate court, which permits you to begin probating the estate by proving Will’s validity. Until this initial process gets completed, they are not entitled to distribute or remove any property from the estate. They may, however, be able to take steps to protect the estate depending on the location of the state.
The probate court’s job is to determine whether or not a will is legitimate. The legitimacy of the Will is sometimes contested and questioned by the decedent’s family members or other interested parties, raising questions about whether it is a lawful will. This dispute can be resolved by hiring a probate lawyer, and they can help you state that the letter of administration proves that you have appropriate authority on the assets.
2. To send notice
The Executor’s second step is to inform any interested parties or creditors that the estate is being probated. Under intestacy laws, any individuals directly named in the Will and close relatives or family members who would be classified as next of kin in Australia may be interested parties. Unless specific creditors are known, or there is reasonable reason to assume that particular creditors may be interested in collecting a debt due by the decedent, the ExecutorExecutor is not compelled to notify them. Apart from that, they must inform creditors that the estate is being probated by publishing a notice in the local country newspaper or another comparable publication.
3. Take inventory of the assets
The third step is the critical step that an Executor should follow in the probate process is inventory. While taking this step, the ExecutorExecutor is responsible for determining the estate’s worth, which includes all of the decedent’s assets at the time of death. Depending on the type and amount of assets the decedent had, the intricacy of this phase can vary greatly. It would be easier to conduct inventory if the decedent’s assets were primarily held in bank accounts, stocks, or efficiently recognisable financial assets.
If there are valuable tangible assets, such as jewellery, vehicles, or real estate, the ExecutorExecutor should check with a competent lawyer to ensure accurate inventory value.
4. Distribute assets
When significant assets, such as a house, are involved, the distribution of assets and administration of the estate is frequently the most time-consuming part of the probate procedure, taking many months to complete. It is such a significant responsibility that Executors are entitled to remuneration for their labour, which is determined by state law or the Will itself. Apart from the minor issues which a probate lawyer can quickly solve, the distribution of the assets in a probate case is a straightforward procedure.
5. Close estate
The estate’s closing is the final and most uncomplicated phase in the probate process. It occurs after the court and Executor have been reimbursed, and all assets have been distributed, sold, or disposed of. A petition to dissolve the estate must be submitted to the court to close an estate and end the probate procedure finally. One fact to remember is that probate is a matter of public record even after a petition has finished and closed. Anyone interested in the estate’s probate process can see the legal documents.
Probate cases are difficult to understand, but with the help of a professional probate lawyer and the guide mentioned above and steps, you can have things fall into place as per your requirements. There might be hurdles, but the right strategy can lead you straight to optimal solutions. Probate Consultants has the finest consultation team who assure you:
- Fast services
- Affordable solutions
- Easy processings