When someone dies without leaving a will, you must obtain letters of administration to manage the deceased person's estate. This process can be complex, and it's essential to understand what is involved.
In this guide, we explain the process of obtaining letters of administration QLD. We will also discuss the duties of an administrator and the fees for obtaining letters of administration.
Letters of Administration QLD (without a will)
If a person dies without a valid will, it's known as dying intestate. In this situation, there is no executor to administer the estate, and the deceased's next of kin need to apply for a grant of letters of administration on intestacy.
The application process
The application process is similar to a grant of probate, except there's no valid will to determine who is responsible for administering the estate. The following documents are necessary for the application:
- Application for letters (intestacy)
- Affidavit in support of intestacy
- Exhibit of the original death certificate (issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages)
- Affidavit of Publication and service
- Notice of intention to apply for grant
Letters of Administration (with a will)
If the deceased dies with a valid will, but the named executor can’t fulfil their role, there are specific documents you need to submit for an application for letters of administration (with a will). Here is a list of other documents you may need to provide when there is a valid will:
- Application for probate (will)
- Affidavit in support of letters of administration with a will
- The original will and two clear photocopies
Who can apply for Letters of Administration in Queensland?
One or more people who are entitled to inherit the estate can apply for letters of administration in Queensland. Those entitled to the estate follow a specific order and include a spouse, de facto partner, children, and parents.
How long does it take to receive letters of administration?
Typically, it takes 6-12 weeks to receive a Grant of Letters of Administration. This timeline does consider the publishing deadline for the Queensland Law Reporter. They only publish notices once a week.
However, the Notice of intention must be filed 14 days before submitting the official application. Then it generally takes the court 4-6 weeks to issue the grant. This timeline also considers no delays due to requisitions or errors in the application.
What are the fees for letters of administration in QLD?
The fees to apply for letters of administration in Queensland, according to the Queensland Courts as of February 2022, are $748.10. However, once you receive a grant, you can reimburse the fee from the deceased's estate.
Can you contest the appointment of an Administrator?
Yes, you can contest the appointment of an administrator in Queensland. Although Queensland law lists the priority of individuals to appoint as Administrators, the Court can still choose to select any person regardless of where they sit in the order.
Typically, when someone chooses to contest the appointment of an administrator, they disagree with the court's decision and feel they are more suited to take on the role of administrator for the estate.
Contesting the decision frequently occurs between applicants with equal entitlement but don't wish to collaborate. They can also happen if a person with lower priority considers the person with higher priority unfit.
How do you apply for a letter of administration?
Before applying for Letters of Administration in Queensland, you must determine who is first to manage and inherit the estate. If two or more people have equal rights, you can make a joint application. Here are the steps to apply for a letter of administration in Queensland:
- First, advertise the Notice of intention to apply in the Queensland Law Reporter at least 14 days before applying and give the Public Trustee seven days notice before filing.
- Prepare the necessary documents for filing with the Supreme Court of Queensland. Please refer above.
- Submit the Application with the supporting documents at the Supreme Court Registry
- Pay the filing fee
- Prepare for any requisitions made by the Registry and respond promptly
- Collect the Grant
After receiving a grant of letters of administration
Once you have letters of administration, there are several things you need to do as an Administrator, including:
- Notifying all interested parties and beneficiaries about your appointment as Administrator and the letters of administration.
- Paying all debts of the deceased by selling their assets (if necessary)
- Getting a valuation report to find out how much each asset is worth and getting valuations for any superannuation or insurance benefits payable to the estate
- If you need to sell an asset, get legal advice before signing any contracts of sale
- If you need to sell real estate, get a mortgagee consent letter from the bank before you sign a contract of sale
- Decide how to distribute assets and money in the estate
Read more: Estate Planning Guide QLD
Is a letter of administration service worth it?
Applying for letters of administration is complex and requires careful consideration. While it is possible to apply for letters of administration without engaging a letter of administration service, you may need one if:
- The estate has considerable assets;
- There are multiple beneficiaries with equal or similar priority;
- You wish to appoint more than one administrator, but those Administrators do not live in the same state or are unsure of what to do.
Applying for Letters of Administration in Queensland can be a challenging process. We recommend enlisting to help of a letter of administration service in Australia such as Willed. Together, we can help ensure the process is efficient and easy.
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