A Grant of Letters of Administration is similar to a Grant of Probate and is a legal document from the Supreme Court of New South Wales that authorises the next-of-kin of a deceased person to manage the estate of a deceased person and distribute their assets to a class of beneficiaries determined in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

A Grant of Letters of Administration is normally required in two situations;

  1. Where a person dies intestate (without a valid Will); and
  2. Where a person dies with a valid Will, but there is no executor available to apply for a Grant of Probate because they have also passed away or no longer have the mental capacity to act in this role.

The rules of intestacy exist to determine who of the deceased person’s relatives are entitled to the assets of the estate. The persons who are entitled to the majority of the estate are also the persons who become the applicants for a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Making an application for a Grant of Letters of Administration in the Supreme Court of New South Wales can quickly become cumbersome for family members of the deceased because of the requirements, paperwork and steps involved in the legal process. We understand that this may become especially difficult where the family member is grieving their loved one whilst trying to do all of the tasks to manage the estate. The Wills & Estates Team at Coutts makes this process simple by removing the guesswork and assisting you to complete the legal process of obtaining a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Frequently Asked Questions

The persons who are entitled to the majority of the estate under the rules of intestacy are also the persons who are entitled to become the applicants for a Grant of Letters of Administration and the “Administrators” of the estate.

Under the rules of intestacy, there is a statutory order of relatives created by the law to achieve a “blanket solution” to what the person who passed away without the will might have done in their lifetime.

You must exhaust every relative who fits within the category before moving on to the next category and once an eligible relative is found, the process stops. If there are more than one relative in a category, then these relatives become equal beneficiaries of the estate.

The statutory order is as follows:

  1. Spouse, including a married or de-facto spouse and same-sex relationships.
  2. Children, including biological and formally adopted children but not step-children.
  3. Parents.
  4. Brothers and sisters.
  5. Grandparents.
  6. Aunts and Uncles.
  7. Cousins.
  8. NSW Government.

An application for a Grant of Letters of Administration should be filed with the Supreme Court of New South Wales within six (6) months of the date of death

The administration of the estate should be finalised and distributed to the beneficiaries within twelve (12) months from the date of death.

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