What is intestacy?
Should a person die with assets, but without leaving a valid Will, then a situation of intestacy arises and legislation will determine who receives a share of the deceased’s estate.
It is most important to determine whether or not the deceased did in fact leave a Will. Enquiries should be made with the deceased’s previous solicitors, accountants and financial institutions, and of course, thorough searches of the deceased’s home must be conducted.
When a deceased dies intestate, the rules of intestacy apply to the distribution of the deceased’s assets and normally it will be necessary to obtain the Grant of Letters of Administration in order for the estate to be administered.
Who receives a share of the estate when a person dies intestate?
This question requires careful assessment and can only be answered after considering the following:
- What was deceased’s marital status at the time of death?
- Was the deceased in a de facto relationship at the time of death?
- Who was a child of the deceased? ( step children are not “children” of the deceased when considering the rules of intestacy)
Who is entitled to apply for the Grant of Representation?
Generally, the person(s) with the greatest interest in the estate (such as a spouse or adult children) are most eligible to apply for the Grant of Letters of Administration.
Who is entitled to arrange the funeral in the instance of Intestacy?
When a person dies without leaving a valid Will, it is best that the person who has the greatest interest in the deceased’s estate to arrange the funeral, as this person is most likely to also apply for the Grant of Representation and shall therefore ensure that the cost of the funeral is met by the application of estate funds.
What is required to obtain the Grant of Letters of Administration?
The requirements which must be satisfied in order to obtain Letters of Administration depend upon which state your application is filed.
How long does it take to obtain the Grant of Letters of Administration?
Whilst no two matters are the same, it is reasonable to expect that the Grant can be obtained within 4 weeks of the Death Certificate being issued by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
How much does it cost to obtain the grant of Letters of Administration?
The costs for Border Wills and Probate to obtain Letters of Administration depends upon many factors including the relationship between the family members, the types of assets which comprise the estate.
- Professional costs for the application of the Grant
- Supreme Court filing fee
- Professional costs for the administration of the estate.