Law Talk with Jude Keatley | Dealing with Deceased Estates

Law Talk with Jude Keatley | Dealing with Deceased Estates

Law Talk with Jude Keatley from JK Legal

An application for Probate or an application for Letters of Administration are both applications where a person asks the Supreme Court for the authority to deal with a deceased estate.

Where there is a Will and the person named as executor is applying for authority, an application for Probate is appropriate.

Where there is no Will, or the person applying for authority is not the named executor, the proper application is for Letters of Administration.

In the absence of the authority to deal with the deceased Estate, the executor, or administrator, has limited powers concerning the assets of the Estate.

We see several common mistakes made by executors and administrators as follows:

  1. Fixing a mistaken address in the Will
  2. Drawing on the bank account of the deceased
  3. Distributing furniture and contents or the personal items of the deceased
  4. Retaining or failing to account for cash or valuables of the deceased
    5. Transferring motor vehicles

All the mistakes mentioned above can be detrimental, leading to costly complications and potential disqualification of the executor or administrator as an appropriate person to have authority in relation to a deceased estate.

The primary role of the executor or administrator pending the grant of authority from the Court is to protect the Estate.

It is of utmost importance that the deceased’s bank is notified immediately upon their death to prevent any further withdrawals from the deceased’s accounts.

Most banks will allow the release of funds to cover funeral expenses and some other expenses which will protect the Estate, for example, the payment of insurance.

Otherwise, assets should be secured for distribution in accordance with the Will, or legislation.

Jude Keatley is a solicitor with JK Legal.