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Disputed Letters of Administration Solicitors - Testamentary Challenge - Australia

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 455 886

When a person dies without leaving a valid will, they are said to have died intestate. Without a will, there can be no proposed executor because the executor must be named by the deceased in the will. In cases of intestacy an administrator is appointed usually following application to the court by a solicitor. A person who wants to serve as administrator, usually a relative or beneficiary of the deceased, must apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration which vests the administrator with the requisite legal authority to manage the deceased's estate. Sometimes potential beneficiaries object to the appointment and instruct disputed grant of administration solicitors.

Duty of Administrators

The role of an administrator acting under the authority of a Grant of Letters of Administration is similar to that of an executor acting under the authority of a Grant of Probate and both carry many of the same duties. The main difference between the two lies in the directives each must follow. If an estate has an executor that means the deceased had a will. A will is the document in which a person explains how they want their assets divided upon their death. The executor distributes the deceased's assets in accordance with the instructions set forth in the will.

Intestate Estate Distribution

An administrator acting under the authority of a Grant of Letters of Administration on the other hand, has no will to dictate how an intestate estate is to be distributed. Rather, the administrator is guided by the laws of intestacy. The intestacy rules automatically come into effect when a person dies without leaving behind a will. These rules set forth specific guidelines for determining who will inherit the deceased's assets and how much of the estate they will receive. In cases where there are no relatives who qualify under these guidelines, the State can step in and claim the deceased's assets in an intestate estate.

The Intestacy Rules

The final distribution of the deceased's intestate estate under the authority of the Grant of Letters of Administration as mandated by the intestacy laws may be a far cry from what the deceased would have wanted. A valid written will is the only way to guarantee that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. These are very personal decisions, ones that should not be left up to the State and a set of statutory rules. A qualified solicitor can help you draft a will that covers possible contingencies and satisfies all of the legal requirements for a valid will.

Fraudulent or Incompetent Administration

Courts are not quick to strip an administrator of the authority conferred by the Grant of Letters of Administration. It must first be shown that this individual is not properly fulfilling their responsibilities. A person who feels that an executor or administrator is failing to meet their obligations can request that the court dismiss and replace them. If the court grants the dismissal, it will then appoint a new person to take over the role of administrator.

Solicitors Legal Advice

Our disputed grant of administration solicitors specialise in the areas of wills and probate. They have extensive courtroom experience and are capable of handling contentious probate and disputed wills. Our solicitors provide free legal advice on wills, probate and serving as an executor or administrator. Just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our solicitors offices and an expert lawyer will call you with free initial advice with no further obligation.

HELPLINE: 1800 455 886