This article was written by Luisa Di Bernardo - Managing Associate - Melbourne

Luisa is the Melbourne team leader in the contested estates division at Armstrong Legal. Luisa is an experienced wills and estates lawyer specialising in estate litigation. She has represented clients in family provision claims, contested probates, estate administration, probate applications and superannuation death benefit challenges. Her work has taken her to Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South...

Timeframe To Apply For A Grant Of Letters Of Administration


There are various things to consider when applying for a grant of letters of administration. If the deceased person died without leaving a will, it may be necessary to obtain a grant of Letters of Administration depending on the nature and value of the estate assets.

What is a grant of letters of administration?

A grant of Letters of Administration enables the administrator of an estate to collect the assets of the deceased person and distribute the estate. If the deceased died without a Will, the law sets out who is entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate.

Did the deceased have a will?

The first thing to be certain of before applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration is that the deceased person did not have an original will. It is recommended to search the Deceased’s house and paperwork, make enquiries with their solicitor (if they had one), their bank and also with the New South Wales Trustee and Guardian. You will also need to provide evidence of your searches of a willas part of your application for a grant.

How quickly do asset and liability holders respond?

The details of the assets and liabilities owned by the deceased at the date of death must be included in the probate application. When requesting these details from the asset holder, it is common practice to also request the requirements to have the assets released.

Are you the appropriate person to apply for administration?

Generally, the person who is entitled to the greatest share under the rules of intestacy, has the greatest right to become the administrator. For example, if there is a surviving spouse and adult children, the surviving spouse with have the greatest right to apply for administration and be appointed the administrator of the estate.

Is there a dispute over who should be the administrator?

If there is a challenge as to whether you should be the administrator, this will usually mean a caveat has been filed on the estate and a competing application for administration may have been filed. This will delay the grant being made.

Has a requisition been issued?

In some cases, once an application is filed with the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the court may issue a requisition or requisitions. A requisition is a request for additional information or documentation. If a requisition is issued by the court, it will take longer to obtain Letters of Administration. For simple applications, the court will usually take between 15 and 30 working days.

How much time has passed between the death and the application?

It is important to act promptly because if you file an application more than six months after the Deceased’s date of death, you will need to provide an affidavit explaining the reason for the delay.

Due to the complexity involved, we recommended that you seek legal advice if you wish to make an application for a grant of Letters of Administration. We regularly assist clients to apply for grants of Letters of Administration and administer estates.

Should you wish to discuss the time frame in applying for a grant of Letters of Administration with us please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced lawyers on 1300 038 223 or send us an email.

WHERE TO NEXT?

Have you been left out of a Will or treated unfairly? We offer a free assessment of your case and a no win no fee policy. We have a specialist team that deals only in Wills & Estates servicing NSW, VIC, QLD, ACT, SA & WA. The law relating to Wills and Estates can often be complex and confusing so we encourage you to make contact with our team.

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