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Applying For Letters of Administration In Australia
Letters of Adminisration is the process where close family members apply to the court for permission to deal with your loved one’s estate.
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What Is Letters of Administration?
Intestacy is when a person dies without a valid Will.
When this happens, usually, one or two members of the close family apply to obtain Letters of Administration. The person who applies is called the “administrator”.
When Letters of Administration is granted, the person who applied will have access to the deceased’s assets, such as real estate, super and bank accounts as well as their personal information held by other parties, like the ATO.
Once they have access to the assets, the administrator must follow the law, pay off estate debts and distribute the surplus to the relevant family members entitled to benefit such as the partner, parents, children or siblings.
How Do You Apply For Letters of Administration?
The Letters of Administration application is made to the Supreme Court of NSW. Once the Court approves the application, it sends an official court document (the grant of letters of administration) to the administrator(s).
If you intend to apply, you need to do so within 6 months of the person’s death. If you wait longer, you will need to explain to the Court the reason for the delay, so it’s better not to delay.
Before you apply, you must advertise your intention to apply through the NSW Online Registry, and this must be done at least 14 days before the actual application. We can help with this step.
What Are The Court Fees For Letters of Administration?
The Court fees vary depending on the value of the estate.
If the value is under $100,000, then there is NO filing fee.
Between $100,000 and $250,000 – filing fee is $702
Between $250,000 and $500,000 – filing fee is $953
Between $500,000 and $1,000,000 – filing fee is $1460
Between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 – filing fee is $1946
What Happens After Administration Is Granted?
Once the Grant of Letters of Administration is provided by the Court, the administrator must settle any debts owed by the deceased, such as their mortgage or credit card debts.
After this the administrator needs to make sure they discharge all their legal obligations (we can help with this).
After this is done, the administrator can then distribute the assets according to NSW legislation to the relevant family members of the deceased.
Who Inherits If There Is No Will In NSW?
There is a formula in NSW that sets out who receives the assets when someone dies without a Will. This differs depending on which family members are left alive.
For example, if a person dies leaving a spouse, then the spouse is entitled to everything that the deceased owned. If a person dies with no spouse or children, then that person’s parents will receive all of the deceased assets.
For a table that explains what happens in various situations, please click here.
Not Sure What You Need?We Can Help
Our expert team at MKI Legal can assist you with any questions about your loved one’s Deceased estate or getting your legal affairs in order before you pass away.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Once the documents are lodged with the Court, it usually takes 3 to 6 weeks for the Court to review and approve your documents.
These time frames are estimates and there could be delays depending on how busy the court is and if the court has further questions (called requisitions).
Yes. Once you have approved the final version of the documents, we can post them to you (at no further charge).
Yes, once you get the grant documents (e.g probate or letters of administration), you have the right to be reimbursed for your out-of-pocket expenses such as our fees and the court filing fees.