Fixed priced probate and letters of administration applications.
The death of a family member or friend is always a distressing experience. Generally, there is plenty of time to grieve before you need to face the practicalities of dealing with the estate.
If you are an executor or beneficiary of a deceased estate, you may find the free information on this page helpful. Details of how we can help and our fixed price services appear below.
The executor named in the Will is responsible for administering the estate. As an executor of a deceased estate you may:
The executor may need to apply to the Supreme Court of Western Australia for a Grant of Probate (see below).
If there is no Will a family member generally manages the estate. It is generally prudent to apply to the Supreme Court of Western Australia for a Grant of Letters of Administration (see below). It may take some weeks to obtain Letters of Administration. In the meantime the funeral must be conducted and other matters attended to; for example, preserving assets by paying licences and insurance policies. If there is no Will you should discuss these matters with the family members of the deceased so that all interested parties understand what you are doing.
Contrary to popular belief there is no need to arrange for a formal reading of the Will, nor is it necessary to attend to all of the complexities of the estate administration urgently. There are however a few things you should consider doing promptly.
Although not obligatory, a notice in the newspaper advises those interested of the death. The funeral director will arrange a death notice if requested to do so.
If there is a Will, check to see if there are any specific instructions regarding the funeral. The executor has authority to arrange a funeral and pay the reasonable funeral expenses according to the deceased's station in life and the assets available. Most funeral directors expect payment immediately, but will, if necessary, wait until after the affairs of the deceased are in order.
As executor you must take reasonable steps to protect valuable assets. Make sure the car, house and contents and other valuables are safe and properly insured. Advise the insurance companies of the deceased's death. Deal appropriately with animals and perishables. As executor you are responsible for securing all of the deceased's assets. If necessary remove all cash and valuables for safe keeping.
Sometimes beneficiaries lack money to carry on after the deceased's death. In these circumstances you will need to consider seeking emergency assistance to help the family. Banks may advance money from the deceased's accounts for living expenses, funeral costs and legal fees.
Inform the beneficiaries of their entitlements under the Will. Residuary beneficiaries - those who remain after specific gifts are distributed - are entitled to a copy of the Will. If there is no Will the beneficiaries of the estate will be the relatives specified in the Administration Act.
Advise relevant financial institutions of the deceased's death to guard against unauthorised use of bank accounts. If appropriate, advise Centrelink to avoid overpayment of benefits.
You must act in the beneficiaries' interests at all times. It is inevitable that you will need to collect money and pay bills on behalf of the estate. You should therefore open a bank account in the name of the estate. You may also need to apply for a tax file number for the estate from the Australian Taxation Office.
You may retrieve a Will of which you are the executor from our safe custody facility. Please see our safe custody page for our requirements in this regard.
A Grant of Probate is a document issued by the Supreme Court of Western Australia confirming an executor's authority to deal with the affairs of a deceased person.
The Supreme Court will issue a Grant of Probate to you if it is satisfied that:
If the executor of the Will is no longer alive, or is for any reason unable or unwilling to act as executor, they may renounce their right to obtain probate of the Will. In this case those named as the major beneficiaries in the Will may apply to the court. This application is known as Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed.
A person who dies without a Will is said to have died intestate. One or more members of the deceased’s family may apply to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration. A Grant of Letters of Administration is a document issued by the Supreme Court confirming the administrator's authority to deal with the deceased person’s affairs.
The Administration Act sets out those who are entitled to apply for Letters of Administration and the formula for dividing the deceased’s estate among the surviving family members. The Supreme Court will issue a Grant of Letters of Administration to you if it is satisfied that:
In some cases banks and other institutions will not deal with an executor or administrator without a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. However, you will probably need a grant if the estate includes:
You don't always need a Grant of Probate of Letters of Administration but it is wise to get one if:
A grant protects you from personal liability from unwittingly dealing with an invalid Will.
The duties of an executor or administrator include the following:
Reasonable costs and out of pocket expenses incurred by the executor are normally paid out of the estate. The executor is generally entitled to retain professional assistance if he or she requires it.
If you are the executor of a Will you may need a Grant of Probate or help administering the deceased estate.
We offer fixed prices for straightforward Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration.
We offer a quote or estimate of costs for administering an estate.
As with most of our services we recommend an initial consultation as the first step in assisting you.
Where the matter is non-contentious and (where applicable) the Will is properly drafted and signed, we will:
The above includes a reasonable allowance for correspondence and telephone calls.
We will give a quote or estimate of costs for administering an estate at a short consultation. We are happy to assist you with the whole or any part of the estate administration.
Grant of Probate
Supreme Court filing fee
*Letters of Administration:
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Initial consultations are held at our offices during business hours. Contact us for our street address, location map and details of parking arrangements. If necessary, we offer consultations after hours, at your premises or by telephone – additional charges apply.
We will ask you to complete a capture sheet with your personal and business contact details and similar details for other parties involved in the matter. We need this information to maintain the integrity of our records protect you and the public generally against the possibility of fraud and to ensure that we do not have a conflict of interest that would preclude us from acting for you.
The following services are not included in the fixed-price; however, if you require them, we welcome the opportunity to give you an estimate of charges as the short consultation:
It's common for executors or administrators of an estate to require real estate transfers in accordance with a Will or otherwise.
The transfers must be lodged (at Landgate).
We offer a fixed price service for real estate transfers under Wills. Visit: Real estate transfers
Visit: Real estate settlements
Visit: Wills Disputes.