What information do I need to give to Coode & Corry?
To allow us to proceed with the necessary work for the Estate, please provide us with the following:
- The original Death Certificate. This may have already been ordered by the funeral director.
- Please let us have the addresses and telephone numbers of the beneficiaries, or if any of them have died, please let us know the date of their death. If any of the beneficiaries are under 18 years of age, please also let us have their dates of birth and the names of their parents or guardians.
We need to have a full list of the assets of the deceased and supporting documents such as statements or letters. This includes details about any or all of the following:
- real estate in New South Wales and elsewhere;
- bank accounts;
- cash management accounts;
- other financial investments, monies lodged on deposit including mortgages, loans, secured or otherwise etc;
- shares in public companies;
- shares in private companies, including the ACN of each company;
- life insurance;
- interest in any trusts;
- motor car or other plant or machinery;
- debts or liabilities owing to the deceased by any individual, company or trust;
- documents or items permanently lodged at a bank;
- private health insurance;
- list of liabilities of the deceased as at the date of death (if any);
- list of any property jointly held with any other person;
- list of any property held by the deceased on trust for any other person or entity; and
- list of property outside Australia and separately identified outside New South Wales.
Once we have this information we can start obtaining the information from these organisations that you will need to apply for Probate. Please give us the information that you have, rather than wait until you have all the information to give us the documents, so that we can get started.
Do I have to be an Executor?
Most Wills do not provide for commission or payment for your time as an Executor, though out of pocket expenses like the filing fee for obtaining Probate will be covered. You may be able to make an application to the Supreme Court for commission for some of your time, those documents are extensive and you need to keep detailed notes of what you do, on what date, for how long.
If for any reason you do not wish to act as an executor, please let us know so that the appropriate renunciation can be prepared. After you have started to act as an executor, the Court may not allow you to give your duties up.
If you want to discuss what is involved in being an Executor, if you are concerned about whether you have the time or capacity to fulfil the job, please contact us.
Is Probate required?
Whether or not Probate is required is not so much a legal question but a pragmatic question. For instance if real estate is owned as joint
tenants then Probate will not be required for that asset. If real estate is passing to the Executor who is not on title, or is on title but as tenants in common, then Probate will be required. Equally most banks have a threshold below which Probate is not required, above that amount Probate is required. We may not know whether Probate is required until we have written to all the asset holders.
Naturally the matter should move more quickly if Probate is not required and we will not charge you for preparation of Probate, and so you can ignore that part of the Costs Disclosure Statement.
If you do not have a funeral plan, but there is enough money in your bank account when you die, then banks will generally agree to pay the funeral costs from the bank account even before citing the Will or Probate, so long as they are presented with a funeral invoice and can pay the funeral home directly. Banks will generally not reimburse the person who has paid the invoice. Once the invoice is paid, generally banks will not release any funds until they receive either a certified copy of the original Will and Death Certificate (which can take weeks), or a certified copy of Probate (which will take months).
The first step is to give us enough information about the Estate to write to all of the asset holders and creditors to find out what their requirements are. If you could drop off the bank account statements and other documents, we can write to those parties and get the ball rolling.
If Probate is required then as a second step, we propose to place an Online Registry Notice advising of an intended application to the Supreme Court for Probate of the Estate.
As always if you have any questions, please contact us.
COODE & CORRY SOLICITORS
Telephone: (02) 4731 5999
Facsimile: (02) 4731 3164
19 The Crescent,
Penrith NSW 2750