Managing Deceased Estates

If you are the Executor of a Will, you need to carry out the intentions of the deceased person according to their Will.

In most cases, you need to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court. This, principally, is a "licence" to you, as Executor, to deal with the assets in the estate.

We can help you by:

  • Working with you to identify what the assets of the estate are
  • Advising you as to how the Will determines the treatment and distribution of those assets
  • Preparing the Application to the Court and explaining the process to you
  • Assisting you to carry out the intentions of the Will, whether by converting the assets to cash and distributing the cash, or transferring specific assets to the beneficiaries
  • Ensuring that you complete the administration of the estate according to law
  • Protecting you, where possible, from claims by creditors or disaffected family members of the deceased

FAQs

  • What do I need to give you to start the process?

    In order for the process to get underway we always request that you provide us with:

    • copies of any statements or other written material which confirm the details (account numbers, Shareholder Reference Numbers etc) of the assets and liabilities of the deceased.
    • the original Will (or your advice as to where it is located or if there is even a Will in place).
    • The original Death Certificate. This may not be received until a few weeks after the date of death and can be provided to us at that time.
  • How do I obtain a Grant of Probate?

    Firstly, we write to all of the various asset holders and investment bodies to verify the assets of the estate. Once we have received all of these details from the various institutions, we will prepare the Application for Grant of Probate ready for your execution. Once the Application has been signed it will be filed at the Supreme Court and, subject to any issues raised by the Court, Probate should be granted in around 2 weeks from the date of filing.

  • Can I access the assets straight away?

    No. From the date of death until a Grant of Probate is made by the Supreme Court, all assets of the estate will be frozen. With the exception of obtaining funds from the deceased's bank account for payment of funeral expenses, no other withdrawal or transfer of funds should occur. It is possible, however, for the estate to continue to receive income during this time.

  • As an Executor of the estate, what are my responsibilities?

    As an Executor of the estate, it is your responsibility to identify the assets and liabilities held by the deceased as at date of death, to obtain a Grant of Probate of the Will and, pursuant to that Grant of Probate, proceed to collect the assets, pay the liabilities and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries as provided for in the Will.

  • What is a Grant of Probate?

    A Grant of Probate is the approval of you as Executor given by the Court, which allows you to proceed with the administration of the estate. Only once a Grant has been made by the Court, will you be entitled to deal with the assets of the estate by way of redemption, transfer or transmission.

  • I have an account for the funeral. Will the bank release funds to cover it?

    Yes, the bank will allow payment of one account after date of death. Simply provide us with the original funeral account and details of the deceased's bank account and we will make an application to the bank to pay it on your behalf.

  • Is a Grant of Probate required for every Deceased Estate?

    No. There are certain instances where a Grant of Probate is not required.

    If all the assets of the deceased are jointly held, then a Grant of Probate will not be required. All assets held jointly, by virtue of survivorship, can be transferred to the surviving joint tenant without the requirement of a Grant of Probate.

    Also, if the assets of the estate do not include real estate and are minimal (less than $50,000.00) then the investment institutions may accept a form of indemnity in lieu of the requirement for a Grant of Probate. We can assist you in applying to the relevant institution to waive the requirement of obtaining a Grant of Probate.

  • Is there a filing fee payable when the Application for Grant of Probate is filed at the Court?

    Yes. The amount of the filing fee payable when the Application for Grant of Probate is filed is dependant upon the gross value of the estate. We can advise you as to the amount of the filing fee once the approximate value of the estate assets is known.

  • What happens if the deceased did not leave a Will?

    If, after searching, you cannot locate any Will for the deceased, it will be necessary to apply to the Court for the legal entitlement to manage the deceased's estate.  The Court must also approve any claims to entitlement of potential beneficiaries of the estate.