Most individuals make a will in order to assign their assets to family members or charitable organisations but this does not always occur.
If an individual dies without a will or with an invalid will this is known as dying intestate. Sometimes a will is left but it fails as the beneficiary or beneficiaries have predeceased the Testator. In these cases an estate must be distributed in accordance with the relevant intestacy law.
Entitled relatives of the intestate deceased will inherit the estate, otherwise, if it is established that there are no eligible relatives this estate will pass to the crown. Entitlement is determined according to the relevant intestacy laws applying in the jurisdiction in which the estate is being administered.
Key evidence required for the affidavit of application for administration includes identification of the deceased’s entitled next of kin. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates and other evidence must be annexed to the affidavit to support the assertions made as to entitlements.
Worthington Clark is able to undertake the necessary genealogy research and source relevant proof documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, adoption records, divorce records and other legal documentation in order to identify, locate and prove persons entitled to the estate. This process may also be necessary to establish the appropriate person to be the applicant on a Letters of Administration application. A thorough investigation initially can avoid court requisitions on intestacy applications in regards to proving entitlements.
There are a number of other estate applications occurring in Australian courts where notice must be given to parties having an interest in the estate. It is not uncommon for the relevant applicant to not know the identity of persons having an interest in the estate let alone know where they are for the purposes of giving notice.
For example in New South Wales, informal will applications made under section 8 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) are also cases where notice must be given to parties who would otherwise have an interest in the estate in the event it was intestate.
De facto applications seeking a grant of Letters of Administration will also be required under Part 78 Rules 21 and 22 of the Supreme Court Rules to give notice to such persons.
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