LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 455 886
Disputed Probate Solicitors - Contested Wills - Grant of Letters of Administration
Our disputed probate solicitors are specialists who deal with contested wills and probate. We represent beneficiaries, dependants, executors and administrators together with those who feel that they have been wrongfully left out of a will. We deal with all legal matters relating to challenging a will or objecting to the appointment of a particular executor or administrator. Contested wills and disputed probate are complex legal matters that require specialist knowledge and the ability to deal with both contentious and non contentious issues.
Executors or Administrators
After someone passes away, there must be a person who takes responsibility for managing and distributing the assets of the deceased's estate. Depending on whether or not the deceased had a will, this person is either an executor or an administrator. An executor must be specifically appointed by the deceased in a valid will. If the deceased did not have a will, of if they did not name an executor an administrator is appointed. There are sometimes disagreements about the named executor who may be considered unsuitable or about who should become the administrator and in these cases our lawyers can help. Our disputed probate solicitors specialise in contested wills and probate including dealing with the appointment of administrators and executors.
The difference between executors and administrators is primarily in name only because the two roles encompass very similar duties. Both are charged with the duty to collect in and then distribute the deceased's property. The executor is responsible for distributing the estate according to the instructions set forth in the will. An administrator, on the other hand, distributes the estate according to the laws of intestacy. If either an executor or administrator fails in their duty our disputed probate solicitors who deal with contested wills and disputed probate cases can make application to the court on your behalf.
Application For A Grant
The legal powers of executors and administrators are not automatic. Rather, they must first apply for the appropriate grants. For an executor this is a Grant of Probate; for administrators it is a Grant of Letters of Administration. Executors and administrators must have these grants before they can begin managing the deceased's assets. These are the documents that vest executors and administrators with the necessary legal authority to perform their duties. In order to obtain these grants, the proposed administrator or executor must make application. The process is fairly involved as well as time-consuming which is why solicitors are usually instructed to act on behalf of the applicant. The first step is to complete a comprehensive financial assessment of the estate. All of the deceased's assets must be valued and all outstanding liabilities must be accounted for. Once the assessment is completed, it must be submitted together with an application for the grant. An aggrieved party may seek assistance from a solicitor who specialises in disputed wills and contested probate if they have issues with, and wish to prevent the appointment of a particular executor or administrator.
When a person agrees to serve as an administrator or executor, they are taking on a large responsibility. They must follow complex probate laws of which they likely have little knowledge. There is a great deal of paperwork to complete, a financial assessment to perform and various deadlines to meet. The role can be an overwhelming one, and that is one reason why many executors and administrators instruct a solicitor to act on their behalf. An experienced wills and probate solicitor can help ensure that every requirement is met on time.
Solicitors Legal Advice
Our solicitors have expertise in the areas of disputed wills and contested probate. For free legal advice contact us today. We offer a free consultation that does not obligate you to use our services. To speak with a qualified specialist solicitor, simply use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our solicitors offices.HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 455 886