Know your Rights
Probate of an estate
It’s a very difficult time when a loved one passes away. At this time, the last thing you want to do is to deal with the estate issues. If you suddenly find yourself in charge of the estate of a loved one, you probably don’t know where to start.
If you have been named the executor of a Will, you have been chosen by someone as the most trusted person to ensure that their wishes are carried out in accordance with the terms of their last Will when they die.
As the executor, your main responsibility is to collect the assets of the estate, pay any liabilities and taxes, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will. Before you can carry out your duties as the executor, you need to determine whether a probate is necessary.
When is probate necessary?
Where there is property in the estate, there is usually the need for probate. Probate may be needed when an estate contains real estate. In most cases, the holders of the assets aren’t allowed to release the assets until the executor of a Will obtains a Grant of Probate to validate the Will and prove that the named executor is authorised to manage and distribute the assets.
However, a Grant of Probate is not needed if the property or any assets of the deceased were owned as joint tenants. For example, when a married couple own a property as joint tenants and one spouse passes away, then the property will automatically go to the surviving spouse. Also, if an estate is valued at less than $15,000, then there is no need to obtain a Grant of Probate before the assets are released to the executor of the Will.
Do you need a Sydney probate lawyer?
While it’s an honour to be appointed as an executor, the Sydney probate process can provide an unnecessary burden. There are various procedural issues to consider and comply with before Grant of Probate is given. In some cases, the Court may require further evidence, such as evidence about the Will or an affidavit of attesting witnesses. If not handled properly, even the simplest probate matter can turn into something complex. Therefore, it’s important that you obtain the right advice before you begin the Sydney probate process.
At Unified Lawyers, we have a team of qualified Wills and Estates lawyers that can assist you throughout the Sydney probate process. Our probate lawyers will ensure that you obtain the Grant of Probate quickly and stress-free so that you carry out your duties as the executor of an estate in a timely manner.
By letting us help you with the process, you release yourself from the onerous duties properly and protect yourself from any liability. We can advise you on your responsibilities as an executor and the most effective way to manage the estate’s liabilities and assets.
What if my loved one passes away without a Will?
If your loved one passes away without a Will, this could become a complex intestate estate matter. The Supreme Court of NSW will grant what is known as a Letter of Administration, which is similar to a Grant of Probate.
The court will also appoint an administrator to collect the assets and distribute them according to a predetermined formula. Certain family members will receive a defined percentage of the assets regardless of what the deceased may have wished.
How can the Sydney probate lawyers at Unified Lawyers help you?
The experienced Sydney probate lawyers at Unified Lawyers specialise in all areas related deceased estates to provide a hassle-free experience.
We can help you:
- Arrange for a notice of the intended application for probate to be published.
- Obtain Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration for estates that have assets in Sydney.
- Draft all the required legal documents.
- Arrange for a notice to be published once the Grant of Probate is received.
- Assist with the administration of the estate if you do not wish to do it yourself.
- Appear at court hearings when necessary.
- Settle disputes that may arise.
We will keep you informed throughout the Sydney probate process and minimise the occurrence of delays. At Unified Lawyers, we understand the burden of dealing with the administrative tasks, and we can take that burden away from you. If there is a dispute, our team of professional estate lawyers can help you defend any Will challenge.
What do we offer?
At Unified Lawyers, we offer:
● Competitive and fixed fees for most applications for probate or letters of administration. You won’t have to worry about hidden fees.
● Efficient and effective Sydney probate service.
● Timely communication by phone or email.
● Experienced, friendly and professional staff.
Our reputation is built on our commitment to excellent service. Our probate lawyers will provide you with the advice you need to fulfill your legal responsibilities as an executor and ensure the estate is administered in the way your deceased loved one intended.
Please contact us at Unified Lawyers and let us help you with your Sydney probate needs.