Dying without a Will, Intestate
No one likes talking about dying, but it is better, than Dying without a will
If you die with a Will, the executor appointed by your Will, is usually the one responsible for administering your estate.
A valid Will allows you to nominate how your estate is to be divided.
If you die without a Will?
Without a Will, you die intestate (another word for dying without a Will).
Examples of how intestacy can occur:
- A Will but the Will maker lacked capacity to make a Will (mentally incapable of making a Will); or
- The Will has been lost or destroyed and there is no record of its whereabouts.
In WA if you die intestate, your property is distributed under section 14 of the Administration Act 1903 (WA).
How the property is distributed depends on:
- The value of the estate; and
- Relationship to the deceased and number of family members.
Dealing with an intestate estate
Dealing with the deceased’s estate may require an application for Letters of Administration for authority to deal with the estate. Smaller estates can sometimes be dealt without Letters of Administration or a Grant of Probate.
An application for Letter of Administration to the Supreme Court requires compliance with the Administration Act and the Non-contentious Probate Rules 1967 (WA).
On a successful Application the Court will issue a Grant of Letters of Administration. The Grant allows the person to whom the Grant is made to administer the estate.
Applying for Letters of Administration Western Australia
The persons who usually apply for Letters of Administration are those who are entitled to benefit from the deceased’s estate. Usually this will be the deceased’s spouse or children.
The Administration Act 1903 (WA) outlines who is entitled to share in the estate and are persons who can apply for Letters of Administration.’
Where there is a Will, a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court may be required to deal with the estate. If there is land in the estate a Grant will always be required whether of Letters of Administration or Probate. The person or persons entitled to apply for a Grant of Probate are the named executors in the deceased’s Will.
Formbys have extensive experience in applications for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration including complex applications, administering Estates, providing advice on Probate, Letters of Administration and Family Provision Act 1972 (WA) matters. You can contact us on 08 9354 0300 or email Harry.Formby@formbyslawyers.com with your questions on this subject.
Disclaimer: This article provides a general summary of subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. The laws may change, and circumstances may differ. Therefore, you should seek legal advice for your specific circumstances.