Whether you’ve appointed an executor of your will or your Next of Kin needs to step in, they may need to apply for specific documents, including probate or a letter of administration, to handle your Will and the assets within it properly.
There are lots of different legal terms used in Wills and Estates, which can make it confusing. In this post, we look at what these two legal terms mean, the difference between them, and the situations that might occur when you might need either of them.
What is probate?
Probate is the process of proving and registering in the Supreme Court the last Will of the person who has passed. Typically, when someone dies, the named Executor is the one to apply for a Grant of Probate to handle the will’s assets following the wishes of the person who passed away.
When do you need a Grant of Probate?
For the Executor to gain access to the Will’s assets and debts, they need to apply for a Grant of Probate. Once the Supreme Court grants the Probate, the legal responsibility of the person’s Will transfers to the Executor. The Grant of Probate may be required to prove that the executor has the right to withdraw assets from certain accounts, including banks and superannuation funds.
What is a letter of administration?
The Supreme Court grants a Letter of Administration to give a dedicated person the legal rights to handle your estate if you’ve passed away intestate, meaning you’ve passed without leaving a Will.
When do you need a letter of administration?
‘Next of Kin’ must apply for a Letter of Administration for whenever someone passes away without leaving a valid Will and leaves behind an estate valued over a certain amount or an estate that contains real property. Once a Letter of Administration is issued, the person can then handle your Will’s assets, including property, bank accounts, and other items you left behind.
When you have a Will, you give yourself the best possible chance of making sure that your assets go where you want them to and that the executor of your Will fulfils your final wishes in the way you want. Feeling as though you might not have anything to leave in a Will, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make one. To get you started, consider an online will to give you peace of mind if anything were to happen.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.