A Letter of Administration is used in cases where there is no will for the deceased. Letters of Administration is an application filed by a spouse, de facto spouse or other direct family member of the deceased to administer the estate in the same way the executor does in the case of a valid will. A letter of administration can only be applied for once it is determined conclusively that:
- There is no will; or
- The will does not appoint an executor
The following documents will need to be filed at the Supreme Court as part of the application for the Letter of Administration, in addition to those required for Probate:
- an affidavit stating that the deceased was not living in a de facto relationship, unless the application is being made by the de facto spouse (which can include a same-sex partner) in which case a detailed affidavit is required confirming the applicant is a de facto spouse.
- an affidavit of applicant for administration (instead of affidavit of executor) (see below)
- an administration bond, if required (see below).
The affidavit of applicant for administration must:
- identify the deceased’s eligible relatives by supplying the necessary birth, marriage and death certificates;
- List all the searches made for a will or other document that sets out the deceased person’s testamentary intentions;
- List the assets and liabilities of the deceased;
- have attached the death certificate and published a notice of intended application online at least 14 days before the day you intend filing the application.
This process can be a long and complicated process, and as such it is important to enlist the services of professionals to help navigate these proceedings. The team at What do I do? can help expedite the process, and of course a lawyer can help you with the filing of all of the necessary documentation with regard to the Letter of Administration and can guarantee a speedy appointment of an executor so that you can start to distribute an estate.