Deceased Estates and Disputed Estates

Deceased Estates

A Deceased Estate includes the property, monetary assets, and personal belongings of a person who has died.

When someone passes away and they own assets, their estate may not be able to be administered without some form of Grant from the Supreme Court. A Grant can include a Grant of Probate, if the deceased held a valid Will, or Letters of Administration, if the deceased died without a Will.

A Grant of Probate allows the executor of an estate to deal with and finalise the deceased’s assets. This includes but is not limited to, selling property of the deceased, closing bank accounts, transferring or selling shares held in companies and distributing the assets as stipulated in the Will.

Deceased Estate Administration can be a lengthy and complex process and requires an understanding and knowledge of legal practices and the Supreme Court Probate Rules. Majority of executors instruct solicitors to assist them with this process to relieve them of the pressure during this difficult time.

Disputed Estates

In some circumstances, you may be able to challenge someone’s Will if you believe they have failed to make further provision for you in their Will under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act. This may also arise if someone has died without having made a Will. In South Australia, there are only certain people under the legislation whom are able to make this type of claim.

You may be entitled to challenge the validity of a Will if you have reason to believe that:

  • The person making the Will lacked the necessary mental capacity to make a Will
  • The person making the Will was unduly influenced or pressured when making decisions about what to include in their Will
  • The person making the Will was unfamiliar with or did not approve of the contents of the document he or she was signing as their Will
  • The making of the Will involved fraud or forgery

Further you are able to dispute how an executor or administrator is dealing with the estate.

The time frame to make the applications set out above are quite strict and it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

To arrange a time to speak with one of our solicitors with respect to Deceased Estate or Disputed Estate enquiries, please telephone our offices on (08) 8323 9066.