Sale of house in NSW

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Bronson

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6 July 2020
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My eldest sister is a widower, no children.
She has left her house to be divided between me and other sister (who is the Executor)
With a deceased estate, does the Executor need to involve a lawyer in the sale of the property?
Does money then go straight into both our bank accounts, or into the Executors account to be divided?
With thanks
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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My response is specific to Queensland law, but I imagine the concepts are the same. However, the procedures are likely different in some respects. Someone versed in NSW property law can hopefully tidy those aspects up.

To specifically answer your questions:
1. No.
2. Either, but see below.

The executor can’t just deal with the property. They first need to get it into their name as personal representative for the estate. To do that, they either need to obtain probate from the Supreme Court and then have the property transferred to them, or prove to the Land Titles Office they have the grounds to deal with it (such as by lodging the original will with the LTO).
 

Tim W

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28 April 2014
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That a person is named as executor does not in itself mean anything.

In order for their office to take effect, that person does need to make an application for a Grant of Probate.
The Grant is the legal mechanism that determines the technical validity of the will, formally appoints the executor, and,
importantly, which transfers the legal ownership of the assets of the deceased into their control.
This matters because, right now - that is, between death and Grant - as a matter of technical law,
your sister's estate is vested in the NSW Trustee and Guardian.

The executor also has duties in respect of finalising the affairs of the deceased.
These include lodging a final tax return, paying the legacy bills (including the funeral), and
notifying banks, service providers, and institutions (such as Centrelink, Medicare, and even their phone provider).

I strongly recommend engaging a solicitor assist you.
Pretty much any GP solicitor will do.
The couple of grand this will cost you to get done properly
will be much, much, less than the tens of thousands of dollars
that it can cost to fix up false-economy DIY stuff ups.
 
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Bronson

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6 July 2020
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Many thanks. I thought it would be necessary to employ a solicitor. Not just the house, but contents, and money in bank to go to special charity!!! Hope my sister will do that, but...........
 

Tim W

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28 April 2014
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Many thanks. I thought it would be necessary to employ a solicitor. Not just the house, but contents, and money in bank to go to special charity!!! Hope my sister will do that, but...........
You would be well advised to have a solicitor assist you with the Grant of Probate application.
If only because they will ensure that the will is technically valid, that the executor(s) is/ are both suitable and properly appointed, and
that the executor understands their job correctly.