An application for a grant of letters of administration is often complicated. You should seek legal advice to help you with the application, but this post should help you answer some initial questions you might have about the process in New South Wales. You might also find the article ‘Letters of Administration – When Do You Need Them?’ helpful.
What are letters of administration?
A letter of administration is a grant given to someone to allow them the responsibility to carry out the sale of an estate of someone who has passed away without leaving a will behind. See this previous post ‘Letters of Administration in Australia’ for some more information.
Part of the application process includes proving you have carried out an extensive search to ensure there definitely was no will left behind.
Does the deceased have assets in NSW?
You can only apply for a letters of administration grant with the Supreme Court of NSW if the deceased has assets in NSW. This excludes any assets that are under joint ownership, as the ownership of the property will automatically go to the surviving tenant.
Can you apply for a grant of letters of administration?
Normally, a letters of administration grant is only given to the person who has the biggest entitlement under intestacy. This person needs to reside in Australia and if this is not the case, the application will need to be made by the person who has power of attorney. An application can only be processed if the person passed away without a will.
What evidence do you need?
For an application, you will need to prove you have a relationship with the deceased and often will need to show certificates such as death, birth or marriage documents. You will need to include information on the relationship you had with the person and why other relatives aren’t entitled to receive the assets. The affidavit needs to be completed with this information and then signed by witnesses.
If you plan on sharing the estate, you should get written consent from anyone who is involved in this division of assets and you will need to tell them that you are applying for a grant of letters of administration.