Letters Of Administration In Australia

Fully managed Letters of Administration service with the Lowest Fixed Fee and Fastest Approval Times

What happens to your things when you pass away?

When someone passes away, they often leave behind property, assets and sometimes debt. This is known as their ‘estate’ and it needs to be managed and finalised.

This Involves:

  • Collecting all property and assets.
  • Paying any debts.
  • Distributing the assets according to the Will if there is one, or the laws of intestacy if there is not.

Where the deceased person left a valid Will, the estate is finalised by the executor(s). This may involve applying for Probate.

Where there is no valid Will, the deceased’s closest next-of-kin can administer the estate. This process often involves applying for Letters of Administration (LOA).

What happens when someone passes away without a will?

Someone who passes away without a valid Will has died intestate. To deal with the property and assets they have left behind, someone who is entitled to benefit from the estate, usually the deceased’s closest next-of-kin, can apply for Letters of Administration.

What are Letters Of Administration?

Letters of Administration are issued by the Supreme Court to the person who is legally entitled to deal with the property and assets of someone who has passed away without a valid will. This person is appointed Administrator of the estate.

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Who can apply for Letters Of Administration?

Someone who is entitled to benefit from the deceased person’s estate can apply for Letters of Administration. This is usually the deceased’s closest next-of-kin.

Each State and Territory has its own laws of intestacy. These laws stipulate:

  • Who is entitled to benefit from a deceased person’s estate where they have passed away without a Will.
  • The order in which people can apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration.
    1. The order is based on the deceased’s personal and familial relationships at the time of their passing.

Although each State and Territory has their own specific order of priority in which people can apply for LOA, the following hierarchy is a useful guide:

  • Lawful spouse or domestic partner
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Brothers or sisters (or their children where they have predeceased)
  • Remoter next of kin (Uncles, Aunties, Cousins)

Please see the specific legislation below for each jurisdiction.

Disclaimer: Probate Consultants do not provide any legal advice in relation to who is able to apply for Letters of Administration or how the estate must be distributed once the grant has been issued.

What is involved in applying for Letters Of Administration?

Applying for Letters of Administration involves the following general steps:

  • Advertising your intention to apply (not required in WA & SA).
  • Completing the application forms.
  • Signing the application in the presence of an authorised witness.
  • Lodging the witnessed application with the Supreme Court.
    1. Where an advertisement has been published, this can only be done after 14 clear days.

Please Note: We are not currently assisting clients in WA and NSW to apply for Letters of Administration. We hope to launch these services soon.

Probate

  • There is a valid Will
  • Executor(s) named in the Will apply for the Grant
  • Executor(s) administer and finalise the estate
  • Property and Assets in the estate are distributed to those entitled under the Will

Letters Of Administration

  • No valid Will
  • Closest next-of-kin applies for the Grant
  • Next-of-kin administers and finalises estate
  • Property and Assets distributed according to the laws of intestacy

How to apply for a grant of Letters of Administration?

There are four main ways to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration:

  • Prepare the application yourself.
  • Engage Probate Consultants to assist with your application.
  • Instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf.
  • Authorise a Trustee Company to act as the administrator.

There are pros and cons to each option and finding the best way to apply is an important decision for executors.

How much does applying for Letters of Administration cost?

The cost involved in applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration depends on:

  • How you decide to apply
    1. Yourself
    2. Solicitor
    3. Probate Consultants
  • Which State or Territory you apply in
    1. States and Territories around Australia have different Filing Fee structures, and some require an Advertisement to be published which adds to the cost.

Applying Yourself

If you were to apply yourself, without engaging a solicitor or using Probate Consultants, you would pay the following:

Solicitors

There is no standard cost that solicitors charge for preparing Letters of Administration applications. Fees vary from practitioner to practitioner and practice to practice.

When considering a price quote from a Solicitor, ensure the following has been included to avoid any surprises in the final bill:

  • GST
  • Costs & Disbursements
    1. Advertisement Fee
    2. Filing Fee
    3. Other

Often lawyers will provide a quote for their professional fee only, excluding any GST or the administrative costs involved. This can add hundreds of dollars to the final bill.

Probate Consultants

Probate Consultants make applying for Letters of Administration Fast, Affordable & Easy. We are Australia’s #1 LOA Service with the lowest Fixed-Fee.
We provide all Australians the same Fixed-Fee regardless of the value of the estate. You have complete certainty over the total out-of-pocket cost involved in obtaining Letters of Administration from the beginning – no surprises.

The total cost involved in applying for Letters of Administration includes:

  • Our Fixed-Fee: $995 + GST
  • Advertisement Fee (VIC, NSW, QLD, ACT)
  • Supreme Court Filing Fee
  • Postage

What happens after Letters Of Administration are granted?

If their application is successful, the deceased’s closest next-of-kin receives a Grant of Letters of Administration. This is a legal document that appoints them Administrator of the deceased estate and is evidence of their authority to deal with the property and assets left behind.

The Administrator is responsible for:

01

Collecting all property and assets

02

Paying any debts

03

Distributing the estate according to the laws of intestacy

How long does it take to obtain a grant of Letters Of Administration?

Probate Consultants guarantee the fastest possible turn-around times for your application. These timeframes are longer than usual due to COVID-19.

What are the Laws Of Intestacy?

Victoria

When a person dies in Victoria without leaving a valid Will, the property and assets they leave behind must be distributed according to the provisions of Part IA – Intestacy of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (VIC).

New South Wales

Chapter 4 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) outlines the order in which eligible relatives will inherit the estate of a deceased person.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, Section 14 of the Administration Act 1903 (WA) outlines how the property and assets of someone who has died intestate must be distributed.

Queensland

The QLD laws of intestacy are found in Part 3 of the Succession Act 1981.

South Australia

Part 3A of the Administration and Probate Act 1919 outlines how a deceased estate is to be distributed upon intestacy in SA.

Tasmania

The Intestacy Act 2010 is the piece of legislation governing intestacy in Tasmania.

Australian Capital Territory

PART 3A—Intestacy of the Administration and Probate Act 1929 outlines the order in which eligible people will inherit the estate of a deceased person who died without a valid Will.

Northern Territory

Division 4 of the Administration and Probate Act 1969 outlines how the property and assets of someone who has died intestate must be distributed.

Probate Consultants cannot provide you legal advice in relation to how to distribute a deceased estate in accordance with the laws of intestacy.

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