Probate/ Letters of Administration

Until you have lost a family member you may not necessarily understand the action of Probate and Letters of Administration.


Probate/ Letters of Administration


Probate is applied for and granted by the Supreme Court. It gives validation to the executor of a will, giving them authority to perform their duty to administer the estate of the deceased under the terms of the last will.   Most financial institutions and share registries will ask for probate before the release of any funds to the estate. This probate application process can be long and tedious, taking approximately 3 months minimum in most applications.

Letters of Administration

A Grant of Letters of Administration is a grant issued by the Supreme Court to appoint an administrator of the estate. Usually, an administrator is appointed when a person has died without a will (called intestacy), a will has been left with no executors appointed, or when the executors appointed by the will cannot or will not act on the deceased behalf.

Once the administrator has been appointed, they act in the same way as an executor of the will.  The administrators duty is to collect all information regarding property and assets; pay all debts owed by the deceased; and distribute the balance to the beneficiaries as per the deceased wishes if a valid will has been left or pursuant to the rules of intestacy if there is no will.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about Probate and Letters of Administration.

Do I need to apply for probate?

If you have been appointed the executor of an estate you should firstly collect all relevant information regarding estate assets and contact financial institutions to ascertain the size of the asset pool.  

You may not need to apply for probate if:

  • the value of the Assets are insignificant;
  • the real estate is owned in joint names as joint tenants, therefore the asset is already owned by the surviving joint owner.

Who can apply for a grant of letters of administration?

There are a number of people that may apply to be an administrator of a will however it is dependent on whether the person died with or without a will.

If in this situation contact McNamara Law immediately to find out where you stand on 135 282.

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