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Home | Wills & Estates Law | Estate Administration

The administration of a deceased estate can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process, which can come at a very difficult time for the Executor, who is often a grieving relative.

Role of the executor

An executor is responsible for carrying out numerous tasks in the administration process, including collecting all assets, paying all liabilities and distributing the estate in accordance with the deceased’s last Will.

We can advise you on all aspects of your rights and duties as an executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate.

Turner Freeman Lawyers has the expertise and resources to ensure your loved one’s estate matters are handled quickly and efficiently during a difficult time by assisting the executor of the Will.

Call 13 43 63 to speak with one of our Wills and Estates lawyers in Queensland. Our offices are in Brisbane, Logan, North Lakes, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.

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What is Estate Administration?

What is Estate Administration?

Estate Administration is the process in which the Executor appointed by the deceased person’s last Will distributes the assets of the deceased person’s estate to their beneficiaries.

It’s important to understand that the role of the Executor is different to that of someone who has Power of Attorney. An Executor has the authority to carry out the deceased person’s wishes after they have passed away, while someone who holds Power of Attorney has the authority to make decisions on their behalf while they are alive.

As every deceased person’s estate is unique, the time in which it will take to administer the estate can vary anywhere between six (6) months to several years depending on whether any disputes arise.

The experienced Estate lawyers at Turner Freeman Lawyers can assist you in the entire Estate Administration process.

What is a Probate?

What is Probate or a Grant of Probate?

When a person dies leaving a Will, certain legal procedures have to be followed before the estate can be distributed to beneficiaries.

The Will should have appointed an executor who is responsible for completing these procedures.

Probate is an order from the Supreme Court stating that the Will has been proved to be the last valid Will of the deceased, and allowing an executor to collect and distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.

A Grant of Probate can only be made if there is a Will. If you cannot find a Will in the deceased’s personal papers, check with their bank or solicitor, or the Public Trustee of Queensland.

Probate will almost always be necessary if the deceased died with over $50,000 in a bank, and evidence of probate is often required before distribution. Banks may require evidence of probate before releasing the deceased’s funds or assets.

Applying for a Grant of Probate

Process of applying for a Grant of Probate

You can apply for a grant of probate through a solicitor, a trustee company or the Public Trustee of Queensland.

We strongly advise getting the assistance of a solicitor. At Turner Freemen a solicitor will advise you on all the relevant legal issues surrounding probate and assist you to deal with any difficulties. Being an executor is a time consuming and demanding role. A solicitor can simplify the process for all concerned.

If no executor was appointed in the Will, the court will appoint an administrator, usually the major beneficiary, to carry out the terms of the Will.

Letters of Administration on Intestacy

An application for letters of administration needs to be made where a person is deemed to have died without a Will. An application needs to be made to the Supreme Court to have someone appointed as the administrator/personal representative of the estate.

Executor of a Will

Roles and duties of an executor of a Will

As an Executor of a Will, you have a number of duties and responsibilities you must carry out upon the deceased’s passing. These may include organising the deceased’s funeral, paying outstanding bills, debts and taxes.

These must be carried out diligently and as per the deceased’s wishes stated in their last Will.

For a full list of duties and responsibilities of an executor, please visit the Executor of a Will page.

Estate and Succession Planning

Turner Freeman Lawyers are experts in Wills and Estates law and can help with your Estate and Succession Planning. Passing family property or business interests from generation to generation requires careful strategic and financial planning. For example, if parents give a family business or other asset to their child and that child marries, only to divorce later, the asset or business might be divided.

Alternatively parents might be concerned that one of their adult children will be careless with assets and will waste them. Good estate planning is the best way to minimise these risks. An inter-generational estate plan can help to preserve assets and provide for your family’s long-term future, including the continued operation of a family business or rural property.

This sort of planning can be extremely difficult for families whether their property or business be large or small. It is important to have an agreed and understood plan so that conflict is minimised, stress is lessened and efficiency and profitability can be either maintained or created.

At Turner Freeman we have an experienced and expert team in estate and succession planning for rural and other family business, and, if appropriate, offer advice on setting up a family trust.

How can Turner Freeman Lawyers help?

Turner Freeman Lawyers can assist the Executor by:

  • Attending to all aspects of deceased estate administration including assisting with funeral arrangements;
  • Notifying all relevant parties of the death, including banks, Medicare, ATO and Electoral Commission etc;
  • Advising on whether a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration is required;
  • Advising on capital gains tax and stamp duty issues;
  • Liaising with Trustees of superannuation funds for payment of death benefits;
  • Preparation of Transmissions by Death and Records of Death to transfer legal title in real estate to the Executor and/or beneficiaries.

For more information about Estate Administration, please contact Turner Freeman’s Wills and Estates Department on 13 43 63.

Wills & Estates Solicitor

Jenna Hutchinson Wills and Estates solicitor at Turner Freeman LawyersJenna Hutchinson is our Wills & Estate Solicitor with many years of experience in preparing Wills, helping clients with Estate Administration, appointing Powers of Attorney and contesting or challenging Wills.

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Jenna’s clients value the sensitive and compassionate approach she provides to her clients at difficult times in their lives, such as when they have lost a loved one.

Jenna is experienced in all areas of Succession Law including estate planning, estate administration and estate litigation.

Jenna is also an active member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

More information on Estate Administration

We have developed the information booklet below that summarises our Estate Administration services and process.

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To view and print this PDF file, you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed, which is available for free-of-charge from the Adobe website.

If you would like to request a copy of any of our printed materials, please complete the Contact Us form and we will gladly post them out to you.

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