Know the Difference

An executor is a person who has the responsibility of collecting a deceased’s assets, paying any debts and then distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. A grant of probate is a legal document which enables the executor to manage the estate of the deceased in accordance with the deceased’s Will.

The grant of probate is usually required by persons or entities that are holding assets on behalf of the estate (e.g. bank and retirement villages) to enable the transfer of such assets to the executor or directly to the beneficiaries in accordance with the Will.

On the other hand, if a deceased died without a Will, then an application for Letters of Administration must be made.

If a deceased has died with a Will, but there is no executor available then an application for Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed must be made. An executor may not be available because:

  • the deceased failed to appoint an executor in their Will; or
  • the executor has passed away; or
  • the executor has renounced such position.

Once Letters of Administration is granted, the administrator (much like an executor) will have the ability to collect the deceased’s assets, pay any debts and then distribute the assets to the beneficiaries. As the deceased has no Will, the estate’s beneficiaries are determined by legislation.

You are not always required to obtain a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. Either is usually required if:

1. The deceased holds a valuable asset (e.g. more than $10,000 with a bank); or

2. The deceased holds real property either in their sole name or as tenants in common.

Need help?

If you have any questions in relation to the above, please contact our Team of Lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry form today.