When a family member passes away, their family may be left with a need to settle pending debts as well as distribute family and estate assets. This can be stressful for your family, and the family of the deceased individual. In some cases, legal advice is required from a practising lawyer to manage probate and make the experience as smooth as possible.
The real estate lawyers at Barwick Boitano Lawyers are experienced in the legal processes and procedures involved in estate administration and providing accurate and useful information to executors. Executors carry a heavy burden, and with the establishment of a relationship with a legal professional, not only does the burden decrease but there is clarity into “what happens next”. Should you need assistance, Barwick Boitano Lawyers are here to help your family resolve debts, settle matters and distribute assets appropriately according to the last will and testament of your deceased family member or loved one.
To better understand this area of law, or the finer details relating to the executor’s duties, please read this FAQ below or feel free to contact a family estate lawyer regarding your family estate, probate or estate administration.
Estate Administration Frequently Asked Questions – Family Estate Lawyers
What is Probate?
It is the process in which you confirm that a will has been validly made and approved by the supreme court.
Who Applies for Probate?
A grant of probate gives the Executor/s the authority to deal with the assets of the estate. In some small estates, it may not be necessary to obtain probate. If the only asset listed during estate planning was a bank account, bank rules may allow a small account to be closed without probate. Probate lawyers can help you determine the need for probate.
Do all Wills have to go through probate in Australia?
The short answer is no. However, if there are significant amounts of money, real estate or shares, probate is most likely required. Contact our team of probate lawyers at Owen Hodge Lawyers today to see if you need to apply for probate.
Do I require Probate if I own my assets jointly with my spouse?
If a person’s assets are all jointly owned, no grant of probate is required.
How long does probate take?
The process of obtaining a grant of probate should be concluded within 8 to 12 weeks of the date of death.
What are the fees involved in probate?
The Supreme Court charges probate fees to process the application. The court also regulates what probate lawyers may charge for the legal work, based on the size of the estate.
Why do I need a death certificate?
An original death certificate is required for an application for probate and to allow for the administration of the estate.
What happens if you don’t do probate?
If you don’t apply for probate (and it’s necessary for the estate), the deceased assets can’t be transferred to the beneficiaries. There may also be additional expenses incurred by the estate and/or the creditors may still pursue payments for the deceased’s debts.
What does a probate attorney do for you?
Probate lawyers are not obligatory, however, the administration of estates can be quite complex and may require a considerable amount of time to undertake all the tasks that are required.
There are legal requirements that must be satisfied to comply with the law and if you are an Executor, it is probably wise to at least gain some initial legal advice from an expert lawyer specialising in probate at the earliest opportunity.
What is an executor of an individual’s will?
An Executor is a legal term referring to the person named by a maker of a Will, or nominated by the testator, to carry out the directions of the Will. Typically, the executor is the person responsible for offering the Will for probate, although it is not absolutely required that he or she do so.
Can I access the deceased’s bank accounts?
Most banks will give an executor immediate access to bank accounts of less than $5000. Bank accounts in joint names should not be affected at all by the death of one joint owner.