If a person dies without a valid Will, then an eligible person can apply to the Supreme Court of South Australia for Letters of Administration—a legal document giving them authority to administer the deceased’s estate.
This is similar to applying for a Grant of Probate, although applying for Letters of Administration can be a more costly and time-consuming process. This is because more forms are required and the advice is generally more complicated.
If you do not apply for Letters of Administration, then the Public Trustee will usually administer the estate. The Public Trustee will charge fees that will be taken out of the deceased’s estate.
Importantly, even if you succeed in seeking Letters of Administration, the estate will be divided according to legislation since there’s no valid Will. This can mean the estate will be divided in a way the deceased would not have wanted—such outcome can be avoided by having a properly drafted Will.
We can help you
Apply for Letters of Administration, which can include:
- Advising on your eligibility to apply in the first instance
- Dealing with the funeral
- Determining the assets and liabilities of the estate
- Reviewing the death certificate
- Preparing the application form and all required documents
After the grant of Letters of Administration with:
- Releasing of funds
- Dealing with taxation obligations
- Selling property
- Distributing the estate
- Advising on possible claims against the estate