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When Is A Grant Of Administration Required?

When a deceased person dies without a will, an application for a grant of Letters of Administration may be made. A grant of Letters of Administration enables an administrator of an estate to collect and distribute the assets of a deceased person when there is no executor to apply for a grant of Probate.

When are Letters of Administration required?

An administrator is not legally required to obtain a grant of letters of administration in every matter where there is no executor. The nature and value of the estate will determine whether it is necessary to obtain a grant of Letters of Administration. 

When Letters of Administration are granted, the administrator will provide the grant to the asset holders or debtors of the deceased and request that they transfer assets or release monies of the deceased to the administrator.

Importance of contacting asset holders

It is important to contact the asset holders to find out their requirements for releasing the deceased’s assets. At times, certain asset holders may release assets to the deceased’s next of kin without the need for a grant of Letters of Administration. This may occur if the assets held are modest amounts.

Each asset holder is likely to have different requirements. Therefore it is important to contact all the asset holders of the deceased to determine their requirements. The next of kin should also contact the deceased’s superannuation funds and insurance companies. The superannuation trustee and insurance fund may or may not require a grant of Letters of Administration in order to decide who to pay the deceased’s superannuation or insurance monies to.

Transfer of property

At times NSW Land Registry Services may transfer property without the need for a grant of Letters of Administration. For example, if the deceased owned property as joint tenants with another person, then a grant of Letters of Administration is not required. The deceased’s property will automatically pass to the surviving joint tenant on the death of the deceased. In this situation, other paperwork will need to be lodged with the NSW Land Registry Services. If you require assistance with completing this paperwork, please contact our office.

By contrast, if a deceased owned property solely or as tenants in common with another person, then a grant of Letters of Administration will be required to transfer and/or sell the deceased’s property.

Should you wish to discuss whether a grant of Letters of Administration is required, please contact one of our experienced lawyers on 1300 038 223 or send us an email.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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