If you are the executor of a Will, or if your loved one has died without leaving a Will, you may be feeling quite confused about what legalities you need to deal with. Please give me a call and I will guide you through the necessary steps and email you a 'Guide for Executors'. A very brief rundown is set out below.
Some estate administrations can be relatively straightforward. If so, your might only need me to assist with an application to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate (if there was a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (if there was no Will). I charge competitive fixed rates for these applications - $1250 (Probate) and $1350 (Letters of Administration) plus GST and expenses. See my 'FEES' tab for more detail.
Once you have a Grant, you must 'administer' the estate. This means collecting up all the assets, transferring them where necessary, managing tax issues, protecting the interests of the beneficiaries until distribution, and finally distributing the estate to the beneficiaries. You may not need my help with the administration at all, particularly if your loved one had minimal assets (eg a house, bank account, or a nursing home bond and a few shares). If the estate is more complex, you might want me to help with the administration. There are many, many reasons why you might like me to help. Too many to mention here! But examples are:
the beneficiaries want to distribute the estate differently to the will states it should be distributed. For example if there is real estate one beneficiary might want to keep it and pay out the others. You will need legal advice if this is the case and probably financial advice regarding any pension or tax consequences for all relevant beneficiaries. If the beneficiaries are still agreed on this course of action, after receiving proper advice, you will need me to prepare a Deed of Family Arrangement to document the new arrangements.
There are lots of assets, particularly real estate or shares to be brought in and distributed or sold;
Someone looks like they may challenge the will;
You prefer the certainty of having a solicitor manage all aspects of the estate, including the preparation of a Distribution Statement to beneficiaries and the signing of Releases, rather than having that responsibility yourself.
The administration is tedious (and sometimes it is) and you would rather do more productive things with your time, and therefore prefer to outsource it.
Estates often also have a superannuation element on most occasions. You may well want my help in managing recovery of the deceased's superannuation, as the paperwork can be a nightmare for those not used to dealing with it. There can also be some tax implications arising from the manner in which the Super is distributed (by the Super Trustee directly to the person entitled, or via the estate) so you may need financial advice about this.
For genuine caring assistance and advice, please call me on 0419 155 122 or 03 8711 3538. Or you can email me using the contact tab.