I’m frequently asked what steps need to be taken when someone dies and how long will it take?

SMHThe usual steps are:-

  • Evidence of death is required. In most cases, this is a death/funeral notice published in the local newspaper.
  • The death certificate is required. This certificate takes about 4 – 6 weeks to be issued by Births Deaths Marriages and provided to the executor/Estate’s solicitor.
  • The funeral account can be paid from the deceased’s bank account if sufficient funds are available.
  • We advise the relevant asset/liability holders of the death and provide certified copies of the death certificate. They provide us with details of the deceased’s accounts and their requirements to release the assets/liabilities of the Estate. This usually takes 3 to 4 weeks and the relevant documents are prepared from this information.
  • If a deceased held land, shares and bank accounts jointly with his/her spouse, the required forms are completed, signed and provided to the relevant registries and bank to transfer these into the surviving joint holder’s name.
  • If a deceased held land, shares or bank accounts over the value of $50,000.00 in their sole name, probate is required to be obtained. Probate is the document granted by the Supreme Court of NSW to enable the executor the right to administer the Will and carry out the wishes of the deceased.
  • Once probate is obtained, letters are forwarded to asset holders with a certified copy of probate, the executor’s completed signed forms seeking closure of the accounts, sale/transfer of shares and land is processed and payment of any outstanding liabilities and taxes are completed. Subject to the assets involved, this can take up to a couple of months or so.
  • After all assets have been transferred/sold as required by the Will and the monies have been received into the Estate’s trust account, the Estate can be distributed in accordance with the Will and finalised.
  • Whilst all matters are different, the usual time frame to administer an Estate is between 6 and 12 months.

If you need assistance with the administration of an Estate, contact us at Everingham Solomons Solicitors because Helping You is Our Business.

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