Looking for a deceased estates expert to help you after the loss of a loved one?
Our Wills and Probate team is here to help you.
We know the loss of a loved one is traumatic. That is why Farrar Gesini Dunn’s Wills and Probate team focuses in making the administration of a deceased estate as easy as possible for those who are left behind by working with you to see the process through.
We help the executor of a Will to obtain a grant of probate. When someone dies without a Will (intestate), we help the family seek and obtain letters of administration. We try to educate our clients at all times so that they understand the process.
Once we have obtained the grant of probate or letters of administration we help the executor to draw together the assets and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.
We use modern technology to make our specialist skills available to executors and family members across Australia. Location is not an issue – We help executors and family members to administer deceased estates across Australia and can help you with estates in all Australian jurisdictions.
We are recognised experts in estates law, so you can be confident that you will get high quality, clear, and accurate advice.
Our deceased estates team can help you with:
- • Obtaining a grant of probate or letters of administration;
- • Administering trusts arising from Wills;
- • Establishing testamentary trusts;
- • Understanding the meaning of a Will;
- • Understanding your duties and responsibilities as an executor or beneficiary; or
Advising in relation to the rights of beneficiaries of a Will or deceased estate
Frequently Asked Questions
The first duty of an executor following a person’s death is to deal with the body.
The executor is entitled to organise the funeral and pay for the reasonable funeral expenses from the estate.
If the deceased was receiving a pension then you should contact the pension provider (for example, Centrelink or ComSuper) to notify them so that the pension can cease.
After this, there is little you can do until the Death Certificate arrives, which may take 2 to 6 weeks.
While there is little that you can do immediately following someone’s passing a solicitor can help to gather together, in advance, information and forms that will be necessary to progress the administration of the estate.
The costs of a reasonable funeral is an estate expense. This means it should be paid by the estate.
It is common for the funeral home to ask you to pay the funeral bill and many family members will share the cost or pay it outright themselves. This can lead to financial hardship.
If you do not have the resources to meet the cost then you can produce the invoice to the deceased’s bank and they will may pay the invoice for you.
The bank will prevent access to the deceased’s accounts after they are notified of the account holder’s death. This rule does not apply for joint accounts.
A grant of probate is a court order. The effect of the order is to confirm the validity of the Will annexed to the order and gives the executor the authority to deal with the estate assets in accordance with the terms of the Will.
The short answer is maybe.
A document can have effect as a Will even if it not properly executed, is not referred to as a ‘Will’, or contains information that is not related to what happens to property after the person’s death.
A lot depends on the document, the circumstances of its creation, and whether it was properly executed.
The word ‘intestate’ is a legal term used to describe the circumstances where a person has died without a Will.
In these circumstances, the person’s estate is distributed according to an inflexible statutory formula that varies with that person’s circumstances. Unfortunately, it seldom reflects the deceased person’s wishes.
Intestate estates are complex and often require legal advice.
Letters of administration is a court order that confirms the administrator’s authority to administer and distribute the estate. In this sense it is similar to a grant of probate.
The distribution is most often according to the laws of intestacy. However, sometimes it may be with reference to a Will.
Do you have another question that is not dealt with here? Ask it now by clicking the link below and one of our specialist team members will reply to you.