Matters of estate
- Letters of Administration
- Estate Administration
We understand that administering an estate can be stressful as it is an important responsibility that must be carried out with great care. Entrusting Pier Law to assist in administering an Estate will mean you can sleep soundly with the knowledge that we will ensure all legal requirements are met and that the estate is administered as per the will makers instructions.
Our estate team will guide you through the processes of applying for Probate or Letters of Administration and assist with the administration of the estate including closing bank accounts, selling the deceased’s home, selling shares and completing final tax returns.
Dying with a Will
If you die with a will, your trustees will apply for Probate from the High Court. The court looks to see that the will is signed properly, is dated, that you had capacity when you signed the will and that there are no staple holes or marks on the will that imply there was something else attached to the will which is now missing, among other things. If there is anything wrong with the will, the application for Probate is likely to be rejected and your family will have to deal with your estate as if you died without a will.
Dying with no Will
If you don’t have a will and you pass away, it is called dying ‘intestate’. Dying intestate can put many stresses and a great deal of cost on the family you have left behind. They have to apply to the High Court for Letters of Administration to determine who will administer the estate and how the estate will be distributed. The law effectively decides who (from among your family) gets your assets under the Administration Act 1969. There is extra paperwork and extra checks involved when someone dies intestate which results in a greater cost, in some cases almost 3 times more than normal.
This is how your estate will be distributed when you die intestate:
- Spouse / Civil Union Partner / De Facto Partner and children:
- The spouse / civil union partner / de facto partner takes all personal chattels, a set amount as prescribed in the Administration Act 1969 and one third of the rest of the estate; and
- The children take the other two thirds.
- No Spouse / Civil Union Partner / De Facto Parner but have children:
- The children take everything in equal shares
- No Spouse / Civil Union Partner / De Facto Partner and no children:
- The deceased’s parents take everything
- No Spouse / Civil Union Partner / De Facto partner, no children and no parents:
- The deceased’s siblings take everything in equal shares
- No Spouse / Civil Union Partner / De Facto partner, no children, no parents and no siblings:
- The deceased’s grandparents then uncles and aunts
- No Spouse / Civil Union Partner / Fe Facto Partner, no children, no parents, no siblings, no grandparents or uncles and aunts:
- All of the estate belongs to the Crown
Enlist the services of one of our Estate lawyers
If one of your loved ones has passed and you need assistance and guidance as to what you need to do next, please contact one of our friendly staff at one of our offices Styx Mill,Kaiapoi or New Brighton to see how we can help you with your specific needs.