Has a close family member recently passed away, and you have been left to administer the estate? We recognise that this can be a painful and stressful time, as you try to deal not only with the grief which comes with losing a loved one but also at the same time being required to sort out the significant and often complicated legal issues.
Let our compassionate Lilydale and Berwick based probate lawyers remove the stress of the situation. From start to finish our probate lawyers will manage everything for you.
I have really appreciated all of your assistance in [my probate matter]. I have appreciated your friendly manner and professionalism and I will have no hesitation in using you again for any legal matter.
A.B., Cranbourne Victoria
What is the Difference Between Probate and Letters of Administration?
If the deceased left a Will, the proper process is an application for what’s called a ‘Grant of Probate‘ with the Supreme Court of Victoria. Assuming there are no objections to the Will during a specified period of time, the estate is generally distributed according to the Will.
On the other hand, Letters of Administration are applied for where the deceased has not left a Will, or a Will cannot be found. The estate is then generally distributed according to the rules of intestacy – prescribed formulas specifying who things go to when someone dies without a Will.
What does an Executor do?
An executor has many responsibilities. These including obtaining probate or Letters of Administration, as required, and identifying, winding up, and distributing the estate. The executor is given the authority to act ‘in the shoes’ of the deceased to make this all happen.
Sometimes identifying assets of the estate can be a large job. After the assets have been located there are many decisions which need to be made: for example, should a house in the estate be kept by the family of the deceased, or sold and the proceeds distributed? What about the shares, or sentimental items? What happens to a business – should it be sold as a going concern, or wound up with the assets sold? All these decisions can have significant emotional, taxation, and other practical implications.
The administrative burden of sorting out all of these details can be enormous. Our lawyers sort through all of those details for you, and try to make the whole process simple and non-stressful.
Our lawyers have significant experience dealing with families who have been through bereavement, and will deal with your matter sensitively and compassionately. Give us a call today on (03) 8658-0040 and we’ll listen to what’s going on and see how we can help. You can also book an appointment online at a time which suits you.
What happens at the initial consultation?
As mentioned above, we provide a no cost initial consultation. This is really important, because we understand that the decision of who to hire to take care of the running of your loved one’s estate is a deeply personal and often emotional one.
You need to trust us to ensure your loved one’s wishes are carried out. You need to know that you can communicate well with us and that you will be heard and understood.
That’s why a big part of that initial appointment is about us getting to know you and you getting to know us.
It’s also a time for us to explain how the system works, so you know exactly what to expect, as well as a chance for you to ask any questions you may have. Often, especially where you have never been an executor before, you can find the situation to be quite overwhelming. We will try to do whatever we can to provide some clarity and understanding to the whole process at this first meeting.
If you are comfortable with us handling your matter after the first meeting, we can discuss what’s involved from there.