What is the difference between a Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration?
The Estates Solicitors at Hatzis Lawyers Sunnybank Hills advise that a Grant is an official document issued by the Supreme Court which nominates the legal personal representative of a deceased estate. This can be either a nominated executor in the Will or an administrator.
There are four types of Grants:
- Letters of Administration (with the Will);
- Letters of Administration (Intestacy); and
- A reseal of a Grant obtained in another jurisdiction (ie another State of Australia or another country).
An asset holder (such as a bank, share registry, superannuation company or life insurance company) may require an executor to obtain a Grant when the asset is over a certain value.
Generally, the thresholds are as follows:
- banks – $50,000.00
- share registries – $15,000.00
- superannuation companies – $50,000.00
- life insurance companies – $50,000.00
However, any asset holder can request a Grant no matter what the value of the asset so the above is not a hard and fast rule and is an indication of the general practices of the asset holders.
For example, some banks may require a Grant when the funds are as little as $20,000.00 – $25,000.00 or may not require a Grant for funds up to as much as $70,000.00. Accordingly, it depends on the asset holder at the time of the request made to them for the release of funds.
Before applying for a grant, certain requirements need to be met such as advertising, notification to the Public Trustee and an application and supporting affidavits need to be prepared. Accordingly, the process can take up to two to three months before a Grant is issued.
What is Probate?
Probate is the official proving of the Will and is obtained from the Supreme Court in the jurisdiction in which the assets are held. For most instances, Probate in Queensland will suffice however in some instances Probate may need to be obtained in another State or country.
Probate is obtained when there is an executor named in the Will who is willing to administer the estate.
What are Letters of Administration (with the Will)?
Letters of Administration (with the Will) is similar to Probate. It is the official proving of the Will by the Supreme Court however is required when there is no named executor willing to administer the estate. This can occur if the named executor/s have predeceased the deceased or wish to renounce as executor.
In this instance, the person with the largest entitlement under the Will (which can be more than one) is the person who has the right to apply as the administrator of the estate.
The death certificate/s and/or renunciations will be required from the named executors to prove there are no willing executors to administer the estate.
What are Letters of Administration (Intestacy)?
Letters of Administration (Intestacy) is the type of Grant applied for when a deceased person died without a valid Will. The person who has the largest entitlement pursuant to the intestacy rules is the person who has the right to apply as administrator of the estate (this could be more than one person).
The intestacy rules list out who is to receive the proceeds of a deceased person’s estate when they died without a valid Will. There are various levels of entitlements and they can become quite complicated when a deceased died leaving a spouse and children.