When a person dies, those left behind are asked to handle unique legal and financial matters at an already difficult time. We can help.
We help by giving clear explanations of legal terms and of the steps involved in finalising an estate. We help by charging at a reasonable rate, not on commission, and by giving an estimate of costs at the start. We help by being available when you need us.
A Grant of Probate is an order made by the Supreme Court. It confirms that a Will is the valid last Will of a person who has died, and that the person or people named in the Grant are authorised to deal with the estate of the deceased person.
You do not always need a Grant of Probate to take care of a person’s estate. Treloar & Treloar can advise you whether a Grant is needed and, in some situations, we can negotiate with banks and other organisations to waive the need for a Grant.
Applying for a Grant requires the completing of several legal documents in specific forms. It is not technically necessary to instruct a lawyer to prepare those documents, but many people benefit from doing so.
When there is no will
A person who dies without a valid will is said to have died “intestate”. The law sets out who is authorised to administer an intestate estate, and how the estate is to be divided. It is different in each situation, depending on which family members have survived the deceased person.
To administer an intestate estate, a person must obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration, which is similar to a Grant of Probate. Treloar & Treloar can help with such an application.
Sometimes a person leaves a document which is not a valid will, but which contains their plans for what should happen after they die. A document like that might be recognised by a Court as a will, and we can advise you on that.
Sometimes a person gets divorced, but dies before updating their will. The will might say the divorced spouse is to benefit, but the law says differently.
If you think a person’s last will might not be valid, have a look at our page on Contesting a Will, or Contact Us.
Administering the estate
This stage involves calling in the assets of the person who has died, paying any liabilities, attending to any outstanding taxation matters and distributing the estate.
We can assist with the administration to ensure all loose ends are tied up and all obligations attended to. If you would prefer to handle this stage yourself, we are happy to provide as much or as little advice as requested.