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Probate and Estate Administration




If you are named as executor in someone’s will, you have the responsibility of carrying out the terms of their will when they die. 

This means that you have to deal with their property (commonly know as their “estate”).

To act on the will, you may find that you have to apply for probate. 

So what is probate?  Probate is the official recognition that a will is legally valid.

You will need a grant of probate if some people or organisations holding assets of the estate will not release them without sighting a grant of probate.  However, probate is not always required.  You may not need a grant of probate if the asset e.g. the family home is in joint names or the assets are not large or real estate is simply to be transferred to a beneficiary named in the will.

Hogan Stanton Lawyers can advise you on whether probate is required and how to apply for the grant of probate, if necessary. 

We can agree to do this at a fixed fee.

Estate Administration

An executor has many duties such as:

♦  gathering or taking control of estate property

♦  lodging tax returns and finalising tax affairs

♦  notifying government departments and other organisations of the death

♦  advertising for any debts owing, and paying those debts out

♦  finalising any financial or business affairs

♦  paying out legacies

♦  distributing or transferring property according to the will

You must be very careful in your administration of the estate, because you can be held accountable for any losses.

Hogan Stanton Lawyers are here to guide you through the process and to assist you and your family during this most difficult time.


Intestacy means dying without a will.  In that event your assets are distributed according to a rigid formula set down by succession laws in Queensland.

Such laws may mean:

♦  the sale of the family home or car

♦  you do not provide future financial protection for your children or grandchildren

♦  you leave disabled or incapacitated family members without adequate support

♦  you give your assets to the government if you have no relatives

♦  you have no say in who administers your estate or who is appointed guardian of your minor children

The court can on intestacy make a similar grant to the grant of probate.  This is known as letters of administration.


So what are letters of administration?  They are essentially the same as a grant of probate and show that the court is satisfied that the persons named in the letters has the authority to administer the estate.

How is the estate divided if there is no will?  Generally the assets go to the next of kin according to the rules set out in the succession laws.  De facto relationships can be recognised.

It’s a good idea to consult us before taking any steps in relation to the estate if you are the surviving next of kin.  We will guide you through the procedure for applying for letters of administration and advise as to your entitlements under the succession laws.

Estate Disputes

These disputes usually arise:

♦  where the capacity of the will maker to make a will is in question

♦  where it is argued that inadequate provision or no provision has been made for the proper maintenance and support of someone


As strict time limits apply in certain cases to apply for relief from the court, it is always advisable to seek legal advice  on your options and rights. 


 Hogan Stanton Lawyers understand that you may be grappling with the grief of losing a loved one and the unexpected changes in your financial circumstances which have occurred as a result.

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