When a person dies leaving assets (real or personal) in NSW, it is likely that a grant of Probate will be required, if there is a will, or if there is no will an Application for Letters of Administration.
In both cases this means an application is made to the Supreme Court of NSW for the Court to appoint a person as an Executor or Administrator with the legal authority to deal with the deceased's assets in accordance with the terms of the will or the provisions of the Succession Act, 2006.
The applications require a number of steps to be taken including identifying the total assets of the estate, obtaining valuations of the assets as necessary, undertaking various advertising, preparation of the Court Application which includes various documents evidencing searches and enquiries, affidavits, copies of the will etc.
The Court appoints the Executor/Administrator who then acts as a trustee of the terms of the will and who must identify the assets of the estate, and realise these where required and then distribute the assets in accordance with the will. Where there is no will then distribution is in accordance with the provisions of the Succession Act, 2006 which sets out the series of relatives who can take on intestacy eg. spouse, children, parents etc.
The legal fees payable for representing an Estate are proscribed under the Legal Profession Act, 2005 (see link below for an indication of these costs).
All costs incurred by an Executor/Administrator are costs of the Estate and are paid for out of the assets of the Estate. If you are a appointed an executor or are a spouse or child of someone recently deceased without leaving a will we can provide you with preliminary advice as to what my be involved for you in your particular circumstances. We are experienced with applications for both Probate and Letters of Administration and can advise you as to what is required and represent you and the estate if necessary.