Steps In Applying For A Grant Of Letters Of Administration (NSW)
Where a person dies without leaving a will, their estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. The rules of intestacy set out who is entitled to the estate. Before the estate assets can be dealt with, it is necessary for a person, or persons, to be appointed as the administrator of the estate. The purpose of obtaining a grant of Letters of Administration is to enable the administrator to collect the estate assets and distribute the estate in accordance with the rules of intestacy.
What Does Applying For A Grant Of letters Of Administration Require?
Applying for a grant of Letters of Administration can be quite complex. It requires:
- determining the assets and liabilities of the deceased;
- determining the identities of the persons who are entitled to the estate under the rules of intestacy. This will be complicated where there are blended families, including where the deceased has a spouse and also children from a different relationship or where the deceased has multiple spouses; and
- determining the persons who have standing to apply to be appointed as the administrator of the estate. Usually the person with the best standing to apply for a grant of Letters of Administration is the person who is entitled to the largest share of the estate under the rules of intestacy, but they are not always the most suitable person to be appointed as the administrator.
The person intending to apply for Administration is required to publish a Notice of their intention to apply for a grant of Letters of Administration on the court’s online registry. An application for a grant of Letters of Administration cannot be made until at least 14 days have passed since the publication of that notice. If you require assistance with publishing a notice online, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
There are various court documents which must be completed and lodged with the Supreme Court of New South Wales to apply for a grant of Letters of Administration. These documents include the Administrator’s Affidavit, which will contain details of all of the beneficiaries who are entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate and an inventory of property which lists the estate assets. The Administrator’s Affidavit will also require the Death Certificate to be annexed, along with other certificates which demonstrate the standing of the persons who are entitled to the estate. The estate liabilities are also required to be listed in the Administrator’s Affidavit. Once the relevant documents have been completed, they are lodged with the court for consideration by a court Registrar.
Given the complexity involved in obtaining a grant of Letters of Administration, we recommended that you seek legal advice and assistance to prepare the required documents. We regularly assist clients to apply for grants of Letters of Administration, including providing advice about which persons are entitled to the estate, preparing the necessary documents and lodging the application.
If you wish to discuss the steps in applying for a grant of Letters of Administration in greater detail please contact our experienced legal team on 1300 038 223 or send us an email.