What is letters of administration?
Letters of Administration is a court order authorising someone to collect, deal with, and distribute the estate of a person who has not left a Will.
Do I need to live in the Australian Capital Territory to get letters of administration?
A proposed administrator does not need to live in the ACT to get letters of administration, however it is more difficult for those who live outside the ACT to make an application. The reasons for this are because the applicant will require a local address for service, and will need to personally attend the Supreme Court to complete an affidavit of search on the same day their application for letters of administration is lodged.
When is letters of administration required in the ACT?
Letters of Administration is required where the deceased has not left a Will, and has left assets owned in their sole name in the Australian Capital Territory.
The former is used when the deceased person died intestate (ie. without a will) and appoints a person (usually a primary beneficiary) to administer the estate in accordance with a statutory framework. The latter is used where there is an issue with the appointment of executor under the will, usually either that the only named executor(s) have already died, or are unwilling to act in that role. In this case the beneficiary with the greatest entitlement under the will usually makes an application to be appointed the administrator to administer the estate in accordance with the will as if they were the original executor.
When is letters of administration not required in the ACT?
Letters of Administration is not required if the Deceased did not leave assets in their sole name in the Australian Capital Territory. For example, they may own all of their assets jointly with other people, or hold their assets in superannuation.
Do I need to obtain letters of administration?
Letters of Administration will need to be obtained where the deceased has not left a Will, and has left an ACT estate which will need to be distributed.
Who is entitled to apply for letters of administration in the Australian Capital Territory?
Anyone who is eligible to receive whole or part of a deceased person’s estate according to a strict statutory formula will be entitled to apply for Letters of Administration.
How long does letters of administration take in the Australian Capital Territory?
A person who wishes to apply for letters of administration will firstly need to publish a notice of their intention to apply in The Canberra Times, which will allow an application to be filed after 2 weeks and within 3 months of publication of the notice.
After publishing this notice, it may take around a month for letters of administration to be granted if an application is promptly filed.
Can you get a reseal of letters of administration in the ACT?
In the Australian Capital Territory, you can get a reseal of letters of administration which have been granted in any other Australian jurisdiction, as well some other countries such as those in the Commonwealth.
When do I need to get a reseal of letters of administration in the Australian Capital Territory?
You will need to get a reseal of letters of administration in the Australian Capital Territory before you can deal with the deceased’s assets located in the Australian Capital Territory, such as real property.
Wills and Probate Lawyers Canberra
Director – Wills & Probate Lawyer
Tim has acted in a number of complex probate litigation cases where the capacity and knowledge and approval of the willmaker was in doubt or where there have been concerns about whether the willmaker was unduly influenced by another person. Tim also regularly appears in the Guardianship Tribunal of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Tim holds a Master of Laws (Applied Law) majoring in Wills & Estates, he teaches and tutors Wills & Estates at the Australian National University, and he is a member of the ACT Law Society’s Elder Law & Succession Committee.