Every properly drafted will should nominate an executor and also another executor in the alternative in case the first one is unable or unwilling or unable to act.
After your death, your executor who is now your legal representative, is responsible for obtaining what is called a ‘grant of probate’. Probate is necessary for essentially two main reasons:
- To obtain title to your property; and
- To have authority to deal with your estate
Probate is granted by the NSW Supreme Court to the executor. It is important to note that until probate is granted, your executor is not allowed to deal with your estate or do anything including making payments to anyone. If your executor begins to administer your estate prior to probate being granted, they may be held personally liable for any loss or damage suffered by anyone including any beneficiaries.
Applying for a grant of probate is technical and should not be attempted without professional advice. There are also time limitations that apply for the Supreme Court from the date of death and missing them can present problems for executors.
If you are an executor of a will and need help, contact our office for a free initial consultation.
We can advise you whether a grant is required or not. If the circumstances of the estate indicate that a grant is required, we will give you the right advise to ensure that the administration of estate takes place in a timely fashion, and the rights of beneficiaries under the will are protected.