When Someone Dies

When someone dies, their net worth (all that they leave behind) is referred to as their estate.

If you are named as an executor of someone’s will, then it is your job to distribute their estate according to their wishes.

An estate can also be administered when there is no will, if a will exists but no executor is named, or the appointed executor declines the appointment.  In this circumstance, the court will appoint an administrator, who is responsible for the distribution of assets according the dictates of the will or intestacy rules.

There are many aspects to dealing with an estate, and as such it is generally recommended to enlist the services of a knowledgeable solicitor to guide the process.  Many legal procedures must be adhered to and financial matters must be sorted out.  Human relationships are inherently complex, and death can complicate matters, particularly in the instance when there is no will, or if there are individuals who expected to be named as beneficiaries but are not.

A will can cause tension among family members and expose unresolved conflicts.  In an effort to mitigate some of these tensions and avoid conflicts, it is important that you utilise the resources that are available to help you navigate through this process.

Inheritance disputes can sometimes lead to expensive and time-consuming court cases, and can distract from the legacy of the deceased.  Should you feel compelled to pursue legal action, it is wise to obtain as much information as you can.

It is often helpful to employ a solicitor in order to help you navigate the sometimes complex legal protocols around wills and estates, or you can connect with the team here at What do I do? for guidance.

Related Posts

It’s time to address your Estate planning ‘Estate Planning’, it’s something that we put off.  Perhaps because we don’t feel like we have an ‘estate‘ or perhaps our ‘estate’ is too complex.  Some have lodged a will 20 years ago, the majority of us still haven’t ever got around to… Read more…

What do I do about Loss of Capacity and your SMSF

A loss of capacity of a person can occur when a person is unable to understand the nature of a document or is unable to communicate a decision. Read more…

Related listings

Koolik & Associates Lawyers

07 3482 3333

5 Discovery Drive North Lakes QLD 4509

8:30am - 5:00pm week days - Saturday, Sunday Closed


Confidently seek our professional advice on three broad areas – Family & De Facto Law, Wills & Estates Law and Conveyancing Law. Koolik & Associates Lawyers is a law firm located in the heart of North Lakes, just north of Brisbane. Read more…

Young and Muggleton Law Firm


99 Percival Rd Stanmore NSW 2048


Young and Muggleton are accredited specialist in personal injury and has specialised in that work for 18 years. Young and Muggleton was established in Stanmore 26 years ago. It has provided continuous legal services from its current premises during that time. Read more…

JJ Honeyman & Associates


Level 5 / 300 George St Sydney CBD NSW 2000

9:00am - 5:00am week days - Saturday, Sunday Closed


Established in 1973, we are a small, friendly firm centrally located at Wynyard in the CBD and dedicated exclusively to the delivery of prompt and personalised service. Read more…

Gerard Malouf and Partners – Contesting Wills

1800 004 878

Level 1, 307 Peel Street Tamworth 2 2000 View Additional Office Locations

563 Victoria Road, Ryde 2 2112
02 9808 3444
Suite 4, 30-32 Campbell Street, Blacktown 2 2148
02 9622 8885
Level 2, 215 George Street, Liverpool 2 2170
1800 004 878
Level 6, 10 Help Street, Chatswood 2 2067
1800 004 878
Shop 3A, 263 Quee Street, Campbelltown 2 2560
1800 004 878
Level 1, 29 Kiora Road, Miranda 2 2228
1800 004 878
Level 3, Suite 3.11, 4 ILya Street, Erina 2 2250
1300 768 780
Level 1, 19 Darby Street, Newcastle 2 2300
1300 768 780
By Appointment. Level 1, 1 Burelli Street, Wollongong 2 2500
1300 972 395
Suite 3, 83-85 River Street, Ballina 2 2478
1800 004 878
Level 1, 307 Peel Street, Tamworth 2 2340
1300 768 780
Room 16, 33 Fitzmaurice Street, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
1300 768 780
Ground Floor, 25-27 Grose Street, Parramatta 2 2150
02 9630 4122
2/11-13 O'Keefes Lane, Kogarah 2 2217
1800 004 878
Consulting rooms - Shop 8-10, 458-470 High Street, Penrith NSW 2750
02 4722 6074
Level 5, Nexus Norwest, 4 Columbia Court, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
1800 004 878
Level 22/101 Grafto St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
1800 004 878
By Appointment. Club Mudgee, 99 Mortimer Street, Mudgee NSW 2850
1800 004 878
Unit 5, 1 Sands Street, Tweed Heads NSW 2485
1800 004 878


Our firm specializes in all forms of WILL and INHERITANCE DISPUTES – Australia wide, running many hundreds of cases per year. We at Gerard Malouf and Partners (GMP) offer legal services to those involved in will and inheritance disputes throughout Australia. Read more…

S+P Lawyers


Level 1, 75 Magellan Street Lismore NSW 2481 View Additional Office Locations

8:30am - 5:00pm week days - Saturday, Sunday Closed

Level 1, 75 Magella Street, Lismore NSW 2480
Level 2, 6 Marvell St., Byro Bay NSW 2481


We have an established reputation in business law, property law, compensation law, wills and estates and litigation. Based in New South Wales, S+P Lawyers is a law firm with an established name in commercial law, litigation, property law, wills and estates, and compensation law. Read more…