If you have recently lost a family member or friend, we understand that this can be an emotional time. We want to make it as easy as possible for you go through the process of finalising their estate.
Who is an Executor?
An executor is a person who has been appointed in a Will to manage and carry out the will maker’s wishes. An executor has the responsibility to call in assets, pay any liabilities and distribute the estate to the beneficiaries named in the Will.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of administering the estate of a deceased person. If you have been appointed an executor of a person’s Will, you have been chosen by them to ensure that their testamentary wishes are carried out.
In order to gain the authority to administer the estate, an executor must apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for a Grant of Probate of the deceased’s Will. Once Probate has been granted, asset holders including banks, the department of lands, share registries and aged care facilities will release or transfer the deceased’s assets into the executor’s name so that the executor can deal with the estate.
What if there is no Will?
If there is no Will, the next of kin of the deceased has to apply to the Supreme Court for what is called ‘Letters of Administration’. This is the formal approval for someone to administer the estate of the deceased, effectively acting in the same role as an executor, but their role is referred to as an administrator.
Approval is usually granted to a family member or the person who has a substantial interest in the estate.
For more information on Probate, visit the Supreme Court NSW – Probate page.