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What are the “estate assets” in a Deceased Estate and how should they be distributed?

When a person dies, the assets owned by them at their time of death are what is referred to as “estate assets”. This includes the deceased person’s home, any investment properties, motor vehicles, boats, caravans, trailers, bank accounts, stocks, shares and personal belongings.

Other assets such as Superannuation benefits and the proceeds of Life Insurance Policies may or may not form part of the deceased person’s estate assets, depending upon whether the deceased person made a valid death benefit nomination, in which case those benefits may be paid directly to the nominated beneficiary instead of being paid into the deceased person’s estate.

The Deceased Estate assets also include the debts and liabilities of the deceased, being any loans or other debts owed by the deceased person at the time of their death, which will be set off against the value of other estate assets There are rules about which assets are liable for the payment of various debts, and your Deceased Estate Lawyer can advise you on those requirements.

Experienced Deceased Estate Lawyers Will Guide you All The Steps

The first step, however, in dealing with a Deceased Estate is to contact an experienced Will & Estate Lawyer to seek advice on what steps need to be taken to –

Leading Deceased Estate Lawyers in Central Coast

You will be asked to provide details of all of the Deceased Estate including assets and liabilities of the deceased person. Your Estate Lawyer will then be able to advise you whether you will be required to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. This will depend on various factors, including whether there is a valid Will and the value of the estate assets.

Once you have provided those details to your Estate Lawyer, they will begin to prepare all of the necessary documents required to enable the distribution of the estate in accordance with the deceased persons Will, or if there is not Will, in accordance with the rules of intestacy.
Where there is a Will, the Executor nominated in the Will has the legal obligation to apply for a Grant of Probate if the nature or the value of those assets warrant the making of an application for a Grant of Probate. Probate has nothing to do with “death duties”, but rather, is the Supreme Court of NSW certifying that the Will is the valid last Will of the deceased.

Where there is no Will, then usually the beneficiary with the greatest interest in the estate under the “rules of intestacy” will apply, if necessary, for a Grant of Letters of Administration.

Once a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration has been issued by the Supreme Court of NSW, your Estate Lawyer will commence the administration of the Estate. This means that they will gather in the estate assets, pay estate debts, and then distribute any gifts made under the Will, including the sale of any real estate in order to distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries nominated by the deceased person in their Will, or in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

Your Estate Lawyer can arrange payment of all of the outstanding debts of the deceased person. These may include, funeral expenses, income tax liabilities and household debts.

Administration of an estate can be quite complex, so it is always important to seek advice from an experienced Estate Lawyer.
Geoff Brazel has been helping people of the Central Coast with Deceased Estates since 1981. If you need assistance call now on 4324 7699.

PLEASE NOTE:

On 20th November 2023, our office will relocate to Suites 5 & 6, Fountain Plaza, 148-158 Central Coast Highway, Erina.

Our telephone number, email address & website willl remain unchanged.