Did you know that in South Australia a grant of probate or letters of administration is what provides an executor or an administrator with the power to administer a deceased estate?

As set out in the Administration and Probate Act 1919, the law on probate and estate administration in South Australia relates to the processes and legalities behind the administration of the estate of a deceased person.

At CPC Lawyers we understand that dealing with a deceased estate is one of the more difficult challenges in life.

 

A grant of Probate is issued by the Supreme Court of South Australia and it provides the right for the executor listed in the deceased’s Will to administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

CPC Lawyers will act for the executor or administrator to make the probate or letters of administration application and obtain all the information required for the application.

Not all estates will require a grant of probate or letters of administration and it is common to feel unsure about whether it is required after the death of your loved one. Our solicitors will examine your loved one’s estate and provide advice on whether a grant of probate or letters of administration is required.

 

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A probate or letters of administration application is a technical and challenging task.

 

We can help you by:

  • Interpreting the Will of the deceased.

  • Advising executors and trustees on their duties and rights.

  • Informing government bodies including Centrelink and Veterans Affairs.

  • Applying for probate of the Will in the Supreme Court.

  • Dealing with intestacy (where there is no Will).

  • Applying for Letters of Administration (if the Will is deemed invalid or is absent)

  • Identifying estate assets and liabilities.

  • Obtaining valuations of estate property.

  • Collecting estate financial assets including superannuation, bank funds, shares, outstanding loans, and insurance payouts.

  • Paying estate debts including mortgages, funeral costs, and testamentary expenses.

  • Providing advice regarding family and testamentary trusts.

  • Distributing bequests and inheritances to beneficiaries.

  • Family mediation and negotiation.

  • Contesting Wills and defending estate litigation in the Supreme Court.

 

Contact us for more information or to arrange a consultation.

Probate & Deceased Estate

Services

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Estate Administration

This process can feel like another never ending to-do list, but all good administration starts with a checklist. Our solicitors can provide advice in regards to Estate Administration and assist executors and administrators in carrying out the often lengthy list of estate administrative tasks.

We can help to tick-off the following:
 

  • Identifying estate assets and liabilities

  • Obtaining valuations of estate property

  • Informing government bodies including Centrelink and Veterans Affairs

  • Collecting estate financial assets including superannuation, bank funds, shares, outstanding loans, and insurance payouts

  • Paying estate debts including mortgages, funeral costs, and testamentary expenses

  • Providing advice regarding family and testamentary trusts

  • Distributing bequests and inheritances to beneficiaries

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Grant of Probate

The Green Light. A grant of Probate is issued by the Supreme Court of South Australia and it provides the right for the executor listed in the deceased’s Will to administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

 

What we do:

  • Interpret the Will of the deceased.

  • Advise Executors and Trustees of their duties and rights.

  • Verify the Identities of the Executor(s) of the deceased estate.

  • Collate and review all necessary documents needed to apply for a Grant of Probate.

  • Obtain information with respect to all assets and liabilities of the deceased estate.

  • Determine whether a Grant of Probate is required for each particular asset

  • Applying for probate of the Will in the Supreme Court.

  • Liaise with different organisations or institutions regarding the release of assets once Probate has been granted.

  • Undertake the conveyancing process for the transfer of any property pursuant to the terms of the deceased’s Will.

 

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Letters of Administration

If you die without a valid Will, then the intestacy laws will determine how your estate is to be distributed. Dependent upon the assets that you hold in your estate, you may be required to obtain a grant of letters of administration.

What we do:​

  • Applying for Letters of Administration (if the Will is deemed invalid or is absent)

  • Advise whether the applicant is eligible to apply for Letters of Administration

  • Explain how the role of an Administrator differs from that of an Executor.

  • Advise how the estate is likely to be distributed under the Administration and Probate Act 1919 (SA)

  • Advise the applicant what documents are required to apply for Letters of Administration.

  • Apply to the Supreme Court for Letters of Administration.

  • Provide the Court with any further information required to grant Letters of Administration upon their request

  • Liaise with different organisations /institutions regarding the release of assets once Letters of Administration has been granted.

  • Assist with the conveyancing process of any real property of the estate once Letters of Administration has been granted.

  • Report to the Public Trustee in relation to the distribution of the estate.

 

Probate & Deceased Estate

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a grant of Probate?

A grant of probate is issued by the Supreme Court of South Australia and it provides the right for the executor listed in the deceased’s Will to administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

What types of assets are subject to Probate?

At CPC Lawyers, our solicitors will carefully examine the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate to determine whether a grant of probate is required. We will ask questions such as whether the deceased owned real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common, what the date of death balances of any bank accounts of the deceased were, and what the date of death values of any shares held by the deceased was. Your lawyer will carefully examine the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate to determine whether a grant of probate is required. Many questions will be asked, such as:

  • Did the deceased own real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common?

  • What is the date of death balances of any bank accounts of the deceased?

  • What is the date of death values of any shares held by the deceased?

Do all Wills require Probate?

The assets of the estate will determine if a grant of probate is required. Only assets that are held in the deceased’s sole name will require a grant of probate, and if the deceased only had minimal assets then a grant of probate may not need to be obtained. If the deceased owned real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common then a grant of probate will always be required.

-If the deceased held a bank account with a balance exceeding $20,000.00 and/or shares with a value exceeding $20,000.00 then a grant of probate will generally be required.

How long does Probate take South Australia?

The death of a loved one is a very difficult time and it is important to finalise the deceased’s estate matters quickly so that those who are close to the deceased can obtain closure. Once the probate or letters of administration application has been lodged it can take anywhere from approximately 2 weeks to 3 months for the grant of probate or letters of administration to be issued.

What does the Probate Registry do in South Australia?

All grants of probate or letters of administration applications are lodged with the Probate Registry, which also deals with other estate administration matters. All applications made to the Probate Registry must follow the strict rules as set out in the Supreme Court of South Australia Probate Rules 2015. It is therefore important to engage a lawyer to complete the process in order to minimise any unnecessary delays occurring due to errors.

What information do I need to provide my lawyer with when applying for a grant of Probate or letters of administration?

As an executor or administrator of a deceased estate, you should have the following information readily available to provide to your lawyer in order to start the process:

  • The original Will (if applying for probate);

  • The original death certificate of the deceased;

  • A list of all of the assets that the deceased held;

  • A list of all of the liabilities that the deceased had; and

  • Date of death balances of all bank accounts and superannuation accounts in the deceased’s sole name.

What happens if I die without a valid Will?

If you die without a valid Will then the intestacy laws will determine how your estate is to be distributed. Dependent upon the assets that you hold in your estate you may be required to obtain a grant of letters of administration. Generally, the letters of administration will be granted to your next of kin.

What will happen to my superannuation after I die?

If you have set up a binding nomination with your superannuation fund then the superannuation will be paid directly to the person that you have nominated as your binding nominee. If you do not have a binding nomination set up or it is found to be invalid then the trustee of the superannuation fund will have the discretion to decide who the funds are to be paid to. Generally, these funds will be paid to your spouse, dependents or your legal personal representative.

What tasks are involved in the administration of a deceased estate?

Apart from applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration, the executor or administrator will also need to carry out a number of other tasks. These tasks include distributing assets to the entitled beneficiaries, holding assets in trust for any minors, paying out all debts of the deceased, paying out all funeral and legal expenses, selling any real or personal property (if required), and reporting to the public trustee (if the deceased died without a valid Will.)

How do you avoid needing to obtain a grant of Probate?

If you hold your assets jointly with a spouse or partner then you will not require the grant of probate. When a spouse or partner passes away any joint assets will remain the assets of the surviving spouse or partner.

 

Probate & Deceased Estate

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