What happens when a person passes away?

Scrabble letters spelling "Probate". Photo by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

When a person passes away, somebody has to deal with the deceased’s estate, that is, with the various assets and liabilities that are left behind by the deceased. This responsibility usually falls to the executor of the deceased’s will. It is up to the executor to collect the deceased’s assets, pay any outstanding debts and distribute the remained of the estate to the persons entitled to it.

This process of administering a deceased’s estate can be lengthy and complicated, particularly if the deceased held diversified assets, belonged to a blended family or if the estate is subject to a claim. At Jones van Otterdyk Lawyers, we aim to guide you through the complexities of estate administration by providing compassionate legal advice and assistance. Recognising that every deceased estate is unique, we tailor our assistance to suit the circumstances.

Grants of Representation – what are they and why do you need one?

A Grant of Representation is a legal document issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria that gives a person legal authority to deal with the assets of a deceased estate. It allows money held in banks to be collected, property sold, shares to be transferred and so on. There are several types of Grant that can be applied for depending on the situation, the two most common being a Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration.

  • Grant of Probate – Applied for if a person dies leaving a valid will. One or more of the executors named in the will can apply for the Grant. An application for Probate involves proving to the Court that the deceased’s will is in fact the valid and the last will.
  • Letters of Administration – Applied for if a person dies intestate (without a valid will). There are specific laws about who can apply for Letters of Administration. A person who successfully applies for Letters of Administration becomes the Administrator of the deceased estate and has similar duties to an executor.

Jones van Otterdyk Lawyers can assist you in applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

Estate Claims

Jones van Otterdyk Lawyers acts for both claimants (those making a claim on an estate) and executor or administrators (who must defend a claim). We seek effective and efficient outcomes in estate disputes and can arrange for mediation between the parties involved.