WHAT IS A GRANT OF LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
Letters of Administration
There are two types of grants of Letters of Administration. One is a Grant of Letter of Administration with the Will annexed and one is simply a Grant of Letters of Administration.
A Grant of Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed is applied for when the deceased person has left a Will, but the executor nominated in the Will is not acting in that role for any reason. Rather than the executor being granted probate, the person applying will be appointed Administrator of the estate.
When an Administrator obtains Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed, they are still bound to dealing with the estate in accordance with the Will.
A Grant of Letters of Administration is applied for when the deceased person died intestate, that is without a valid Will. The person applying will be appointed Administrator of the estate and will be bound to dealing with the estate in accordance with the law. When a person dies without a valid Will then their estate is generally distributed in accordance with section 14 of the Administration Act 1903 (WA).
Applying for Letters of Administration
Generally, someone who is a beneficiary of the estate must apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration. This will normally be the deceased person’s spouse or de facto partner or children. If the deceased person does not have a suitable spouse or de facto partner or children, the deceased person’s parents or sibling may apply. Section 25 of the Administration Act 1903 (WA) sets out to who the Court may grant administration of the estate of an intestate person to.
Once it is determined who will apply for administration of an estate, the process is similar to a applying for a Grant of Probate.
WILLS & ESTATES LEAD
As with a Grant of Probate the person applying will require the original death certificate and a copy. If the application is for Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed the complete original Will is also required.
A Motion for a grant of letters of administration and an affidavit by the person making the application must be prepared and filed with the application. The affidavit will provide certain information as required by law regarding the person applying, and the deceased person, and if applicable their Will.
The affidavit’s contents must be correct, and it must also meet all the formal requirements of an affidavit, among other things being page numbered and sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised witness.
The affidavit will also provide a Rule 9b Statement of Assets and Liabilities of the estate. The person making the application will have to swear the correctness of the Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
The documents which make an application for letters of administration more complex than a grant of probate are letters of consent and sureties.
If there are multiple beneficiaries with the same level of interest in the deceased person’s estate their consent must be obtained when applying for Letters of Administration. All of the people who are entitled to apply but are not making an application must each provide letters of consent which are filed with the application.
A surety will be required with the application if there are minor beneficiaries benefitting from the estate of the deceased person. Anyone under the age of 18 years is considered a minor. If there are minors benefitting from the estate the person who is applying for letters of administration must have two people guarantee that they will make good any financial loss that the minor beneficiaries may suffer due to the applicant’s actions.
There are filing fees payable when an application for letters of administration is filed. For more information on filing fees please click here.
We always recommend that legal advice is obtained before an application for letters of administration is made, particularly if there is a dispute as to who should apply and if there are minor beneficiaries involved. In most cases the legal expenses incurred in obtaining advice can be recovered from the estate.