We deal with Adelaide probate applications and matters concerning deceased estates every day. This means you can trust our deceased estates and probate lawyers to assist you with any of your issues. Call us to arrange a free consultation on a no obligation basis. We will be pleased to answer any questions related to Wills and deceased estates and provide you with a fixed fee.
Deceased Estate and Inheritance Issues:
- What Does The Executor Need To Do?
- Do you need a lawyer?
- Deceased estates time frame
- The law of intestacy
- What Costs Are Involved?
- Inheritance Claims and Will Disputes
What Does The Executor Need To Do?
If the deceased appointed an executor then that person has the legal right to arrange the funeral. The executor may however decide that someone else should arrange the funeral. If the deceased did not have a Will then usually the deceased’s next-of-kin will arrange the funeral.
If the deceased made a Will it is vital that the location of the Will is determined and that the Will is kept safe. Under no circumstances should the Will be taken apart for copying. Best practice would be to give the original Will to the deceased estate solicitors at the earliest opportunity.
The executor or administrator’s other duties may be very simple or quite complicated depending upon the deceased estate and whether or not a family member plans on contesting a Will. We can provide you with answers to your questions regarding what you are responsible for administering and give you guidance on how to proceed at your first free consultation or even over the phone.
Do you need a lawyer to administer a deceased estate?
Administering a deceased estate may be completed without a lawyer. However, in some cases a deceased estate can be challenging, particularly where a grant of probate or letters of administration is required. The paperwork for administering a deceased estate is also quite complex, therefore having a lawyer help sort through the various forms and documents is often advised to ensure the process is completed correctly.
Does the law require an executor to obtain a grant of Probate?
It is not necessary for an executor to obtain Probate where the estate assets are limited or if all deceased’s assets were jointly held. Read our blog about Grant of Probate to learn more.
What is the time frame for sorting out a deceased estate?
There is no time frame for winding up a deceased estate. In the short term however, it is advised that the executor does address the most pressing matters as soon as possible. These include:
- Reviewing the Will for specific funeral wishes
- Informing the relevant family members and friends
- Making the funeral arrangements
What happens to the deceased estate if there is no Will?
If a Will does not exist, then the law of intestacy applies. This law outlines how the assets of the deceased estate are to be distributed as well as who has the right to make an application for Letters of Administration.
In South Australia, the law of intestacy depends on whether the deceased person had a spouse, domestic partner or children. It states that the spouse of the deceased will receive all of the personal effects, the first $100,000 of the estate and half a share of the rest of the estate. The remaining half will then be distributed between the children of the deceased.
What costs are involved?
Most importantly, there is no cost to telephone us for an initial consult or meeting in our office. We would be pleased to meet with you on a no obligation and no cost basis.
If deceased estate assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the Will there will be no stamp duty payable by the beneficiary or the estate.
Legal costs associated with a deceased estate are payable by the estate. It is of course true that the more costs an estate pays, the less that will be available for distribution to beneficiaries. We are therefore as cost conscious and commercially minded with deceased estates as with any other matter.
We charge for our legal work on a time basis in accordance with our legal services agreement. We will be able to provide you with an estimate of our costs once we understand what work is necessary, however in our experience the cost of an application for probate starts at $3,500 plus the Supreme Court filing fee and GST. The Supreme Court filing fee is determined according to the gross value of the deceased estate as follows:
|Estate value||Filing fee|
|Less than $200,000||$853|
|Between $200,000 and $500,000||$1,706|
|Between $500,000 and $1,000,000||$2,273|
|More than $1,000,000||$3,410|
Generally we require payment of the filing fee in advance but we understand that payment of our fee may not always be possible until distribution of the deceased estate.
Please contact our estate planning lawyers on 8362 6400 to discuss on a no obligation and first free interview basis.