When someone passes, the person nominated in their Will as an executor takes ownership of their estate and is responsible for administering everything to the beneficiaries as outlined in the Will. Comparatively, if the person passes without a Will, there’s a whole set of other procedures that you need to fulfil in order to manage and distribute their assets. So, here are some of the reasons why you should always get the help of a lawyer to administer a loved one’s estate after they pass:
Time and Emotional Constraints
Distributing an entire life’s worth of assets isn’t as simple as appointing yourself as the beneficiary of everything and spreading the estate equally among who you think is deserving. It certainly does happen, but in many cases, there’s bound to be multiple people that stand to be in charge and legally entitled (particularly if they have over $50,000 in their bank account), in which case, you’ll have to apply for the rights through the Supreme court of NSW. In addition, if the deceased has been in multiple relationships and has children from those relationships, those previous spouses may be entitled to a share as well.
Even in the case where there is a Will and the testator has nominated an executor, you must submit an application for a Grant of Probate to start the process of executing the Will. Otherwise, you have to apply for Letters of Administration (LOA). Both processes can be laborious and quite taxing for anyone, let alone someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one. It can also take months to complete – even years in certain circumstances.
More often than not, we see families and loved ones who disagree with multiple aspects of a Will. Certain beneficiaries may not be happy with the amount they’ve been given or feel another beneficiary shouldn’t receive anything at all. There’s also instances where the Will was drafted whilst the testator was suffering a mental health issue and was not of sound mind or was being bullied into drafting it a certain way.
In any of these cases, the Will is likely to be contested. This will bring a whole string of legal ramifications and small mistakes throughout the process can become extremely costly – in time, money, and your relationships.
Application inaccuracies are one of the most common mistakes we see when someone submits an application for Probate or LOA without the help of a lawyer. Meanwhile, accuracy is paramount and incomplete or incorrect information can result in considerable delays. The registrar will send through a written requisition that states the discrepancies which you’ll have to explain and send back, sometimes with a separate affidavit. You won’t be granted probate or Letters of Administration until the Court has received absolutely all required information with clarification to support certain matters. This usually happens with Letters Of Administration as the Registrar needs to ensure that the right person is entitled to the estate.
So, enlisting the help of a lawyer who specialises in Wills and estates as early as possible, will fast-track the entire process and make it as smooth as possible, alleviating a whole lot of stress during a tough time.
Get in touch with one of our experienced estate team members today: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 1800 600 664.
Because at Taylor & Scott Lawyers, we care for you.