How Much Time Does Executor Take To Settle An Estate In Australia?

February 12, 2024    Deceased Estate Lawyers Perth
How Much Time Does Executor Take To Settle An Estate In Australia?

The probate process is an important step in distributing the deceased person’s assets. The probate process can be described as “settling an estate.” This is usually done by the ‘executor,’ the person named in the Will. According to the estate execution norms in Australia, it usually takes six to nine months. However, due to any disputes, the process can take years to solve.

Settling an estate requires the process of estate administration. This process entails assembling the assets, handling property, paying the required taxes and debts, if any, and dividing the leftover assets among the heirs as mentioned in the deceased person’s Will. Seeking guidance before acting on estate settlements with estate dispute lawyers is recommended.

It ensures that the entire process is known to deduce the period appropriately. If you are an executor of an estate, read on to learn more.

The Probate process

In Australia, the probate process is usually a months-long legal process with assistance from wills and estate planning lawyers Perth. First, a probate application must be made. A probate application requires documents of:

  • The executor’s affidavit
  • A list of acquisitions
  • A copy of the counsellor’s advertisement
  • The original copy of the Will
  • The original death certificate

These documents are to be submitted to the Supreme Court of the place where the deceased person was located.
Settling an estate

It is important to follow the supervision of the estate lawyers experienced with these processes. After being granted a probate, the executor can move forward with the rest of the procedure. Without a Will, one must apply for ‘letters of administration.’

If there is a Will, the following steps must be taken:

1. Notify beneficiaries

The first step after a probate application is to inform all the beneficiaries or the inheritors who can benefit from the deceased person’s assets.

2. Compiling assets

Next, the executor needs to find and collect all deceased person’s assets, including their property, valued possessions, or investments.

3. Handle debts and Taxes

The executor must pay off debts and handle taxes, if any, owed by the deceased person. Income taxes, bills, or mortgages must be thoroughly reviewed for said debts.

4. Distribute the Assets

The remaining assets will be distributed to the recipients as mentioned in the Will. If there is no Will, the executor must abide by the intestacy rules. This marks the end of the executor’s responsibilities.

Circumstances that Delays the Estate Settle Process

The process might take longer in the case of several complexities, be it in the estate or dispute in the probate process. The efficiency of the executor or estate dispute lawyers can also be responsible for this delay. Here are some factors that might be the cause:

1. A large estate –

A large estate might create more complexities since it consists of several assets needing distribution. In these cases, the process might be time-consuming.

2. Number of beneficiaries –

The more the number of beneficiaries, the more time it will take to resolve the distribution process. The proper recipient of each asset must be carefully checked. This might lengthen the timeline.

3. Disputes in settlement –

Conversational or other disputes might arise between creditors and executors or amongst the beneficiaries. It becomes time-consuming to solve such complications.

4. Need to meet deadlines –

This is a major issue while handling legal issues. The handlers should be careful about deadlines since missing one will act as an obstruction in the process.

Concluding Thoughts

It is the great responsibility of the executor to follow through with the entire procedure including the probate application.

As stated initially, before applying for probate or acting out on executor responsibilities, estate lawyers in Perth must be interrogated. As per Australian legal standards, settling the estate of a deceased person takes about 6 to 9 months. Make sure to collect all the deceased’s important documents, including original copies of the Will and birth certificate.

However, conflicts can arise in the number of creditors or beneficiaries, slowing down the process. Often, it takes years due to needing the correct documents or missing deadlines.

These possibilities should be remembered before getting started. It is also important to confer with a proficient lawyer. Get in touch with the deceased lawyers in Perth for more guidance.

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