An executor named in the will usually has to apply for a Grant of Probate of that will where the assets of the estate exceed $50,000.00. The need for a Grant of Probate is often determined by the financial institution in which the asset is held.
Probate is an Order from the Supreme Court (Probate Division) stating that the deceased’s will has been proved to be valid and that the executor named in the will is authorised to administer the estate. The executor’s duties include paying debts of the estate, realising assets and then distributing to the beneficiaries.
Usually, the larger the estate, the more complex and time consuming the job of the executor is and the more legal advice is required. The job of executor carries with it duties and responsibilities that an executor should clearly understand before undertaking the task. The process also requires the advertising of a notice online and the preparation and filing of documents together with the will in the Supreme Court in its Probate jurisdiction.
Unless there is some objection regarding the validity of the will, Probate is usually granted. The types of claims regarding the validity of the will usually revolve around issues of authenticity of the document or questions of undue influence or the capacity of the deceased to make the will in the first place.
Letters of Administration
An Application for Letters of Administration is required where the deceased did not leave a valid will or where there is no executor. In such cases, a person who has an entitlement under the laws of intestacy may apply to be appointed as administrator of the estate of the deceased.
Please note for small estates where the net value of the estate is under $50,000, a simpler and cheaper process of administering the will and distributing the assets can be provided for.