If your loved one has passed away without a Will and the asset holders (such as the deceased’s banks or nursing home) will not release the deceased’s assets to you without the grant of the Court, you will need to apply to the Supreme Court for letters of administration.
Letters of administration gives you title to the deceased’s assets and allows you to deal with the deceased’s assets.
A bankrupt or person who has assigned or disclaimed their interest in the estate may not be appointed administrator.
Even though you may know the deceased did not make a Will, you will need to prove to the Court that the deceased did not make a Will.
As a minimum, the applicant for letters of administration will need to provide evidence of searches that were made for a Will amongst the personal effects of the deceased. You will also need to provide evidence of enquiries made for a Will with the NSW Trustee & Guardian and the solicitors and banks of the deceased. This means you will need to write to these institutions and wait to receive their written response. Once you have those responses confirming they do not hold a Will for the deceased, they can be filed with your application to the Court.
If you are aware that the deceased had an accountant, it would be wise to make enquiries with the accountant to ascertain if they hold any document that contain the testamentary wishes of the deceased.
Other enquiries that you can make which our firm undertakes include enquiries with the Land & Property Information office as they hold a general register of deeds that was created in the 1920’s to record any instrument whatsoever, whether affecting or relating to land or not.
Usually, the application for letters of administration must be accompanied by an administration bond unless the Court consents to dispensing with the bond. An administration bond is a document that promises to pay the relevant amount in the event the estate is fraudulently or negligently administered, and creditors or beneficiaries miss out on their proper share of the estate.
Contact Conditsis Lawyers today on (02) 4324 5688 for all your estate enquiries.