Quick reference guide
1. How do I deal with a deceased person’s assets?
If a loved one has died, you may need to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court before their assets can be dealt with.
2. What are Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration?
A Grant of Probate is a Court order which allows the executor named in the deceased’s Will to administer the deceased’s estate.
Letters of Administration is a Court order which authorises a person (usually the next of kin) to administer the deceased’s estate.
3. Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
a. Apply for a Grant of Probate if the deceased leaves a Will.
b. Apply for Letters of Administration if:
i. the deceased did not leave a Will; or
ii. the executor named in the Will is unwilling or unable to apply for a Grant of Probate.
4. Will a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration be needed?
You are likely to need a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration if the deceased:
a. held assets such as real estate, bank accounts or shares; or
b. held real estate as tenants in common with another person.
If the deceased only held real estate as joint tenants with their spouse or another person, you may not need to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The surviving owner can apply to Landgate to transfer the title to the property by survivorship.
5. How do I apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
The application to the Supreme Court must be made by the executor named in the Will or the proposed administrator.
The applicant can apply in person or appoint a lawyer to act on their behalf. Forms are available on the Court’s website at www.supremecourt.wa.gov.au.
We recommend the applicant seek legal advice if the situation is complex. For example, if:
a. the Will has not been correctly executed;
b. the deceased may not have had the mental capacity to execute the Will;
c. the original Will has been lost;
d. the executor named in the Will is unable or unwilling to act;
e. the deceased married or divorced after executing the Will; or
f. the deceased did not leave a Will.
We’re here to help
Voyager Legal is a boutique commercial law firm with strong experience in wills and estates matters.
We would be pleased to assist you. Just email or call us to arrange a free preliminary consult.
T: 08 9443 6267
A: Suite 5, 101 Scarborough Beach Road, Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia
Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature only and may not be suitable for your personal circumstances. Please consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and, if any doubt, seek legal advice.