When a person dies, the executor of their estate must apply for a grant of probate or letters of administration. Grants of probate or letters of administration give the executor legal authority to deal with the assets of the deceased to finalise their estates. This application is usually made in the State where the person resided in life, as most of their assets will normally be in that State. However, if the deceased owned interstate or international assets, then the executor must apply for the legal authority to deal with the assets in each of those States or countries. Executors in such a situation need not reapply for grants of probate or letters of administration. Instead, they can simply apply to have the original grant or letters recognised in that particular jurisdiction.
In most jurisdictions, the original grant or letters must be ‘re-sealed’ for it to be recognised legally. This article will briefly outline the court process that must be undertaken to re-seal in South Australia. Before continuing any further however, it is important to note that re-sealing grants might not be necessary in some cases. Re-sealing will be required if the deceased held real estate in South Australia. However, if the deceased’s South Australian assets are not real estate, a re-seal might not be required depending on the nature and value of the assets. If you are unsure, we can assist you in this matter.
If you do need a re-seal however, you must be the executor, or the administrator named in the original grant to apply. The application for re-seal must be accompanied by an affidavit that includes the deceased’s statement of assets or liabilities. If it has been less than 12 months since the death of the deceased, the values used in the affidavit must be the values at the date of deceased’s death. If more than 12 months have elapsed, the values at the time of the application to re-seal must be used. If the executor or administrator discovers there were any assets or liabilities not previously disclosed, or inaccurately described, they must notify the Registry of the discrepancies.
In addition to the asset and liability disclosures, the following must also be lodged:
1. an oath by the applicant to lead re-seal of grant;
2. the original or certified copy of the Letters of Administration;
3. the original Registrar’s certificates.
Furthermore, the Registrar might require notice of the application to be advertised. Finally, it is important to note that in lodging the above documents, the usual care must be taken to ensure documents do not look like they have been tampered with.
If you would like any assistance with re-sealing grants of probate or letters of administration, contact us and we can help you.
Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 8410 9069.
Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.