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DECEASED ESTATES

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					NSW Trustee and Guardian

DECEASED ESTATES
FACT SHEET NUMBER 14


The authority of the NSW Trustee and Guardian (NSWT&G) over a client’s finances
ceases when the client dies. Generally, the only payments that will then be made from a
client’s estate are their funeral costs and, in limited circumstances, payments for insuring
estates, assets and storage costs. All other accounts are referred to the deceased
person's legal representative (executor or administrator of the estate) for their attention.

Costs and Payment
When a client dies NSWT&G prepares an Assets and Liabilities statement. This
statement helps the deceased person’s legal representative to apply for a grant of
probate or for a family member or close friend to be appointed as administrator of the
estate. This is done by a legal process known as a grant of letters of administration. The
cost of an Assets and Liabilities statement is set by regulation.

NSWT&G will continue to hold the deceased person's estate in trust until the legal
representative provides a certified copy of the grant of probate or grant of letters of
administration. They must provide written instructions outlining where the money is to be
paid.

Payment will be made by cheque made out to the estate of the deceased person.
Payment will be authorised within two working days of receiving instructions.

Any belongings of the deceased person held by NSWT&G will also be released on
written instruction from the legal representative once NSWT&G receives a written receipt
for them.

Small Estates Procedure
NSWT&G is able to pay out money or handover estate documents assets with a value of
up to $10,000 without the need to apply for a grant of probate or grant of letters of
administration. This process is called the Small Estates Procedure. It is NSWT&G’s
policy that this is only available where there is no dispute. If you think an estate might fit
these criteria you are encouraged to speak with Finalisation Officer.

For the NSW Trustee and Guardian to consider a claim on the estate the following
information would need to be provided to NSWT&G:
    the date and place of the person’s death
    whether to the claimant’s knowledge the person had made a will
    that the claimant does not intend to apply for probate or letters of administration, nor
    are they aware of anyone who intends to

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    that the person is not aware of any debts owed by the deceased estate
    the claim is made under section 94 of the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009
    the relationship of the claimant to the person
    whether the claimant is aware of anyone that precedes them in the hierarchy
    established by the law of intestacy as outlined in the Wills, Probate and
    Administration Act
    whether the claimant is aware of anyone that is in the same category as them in the
    hierarchy established by the law of intestacy as outlined in the Wills, Probate and
    Administration Act
    that the claimant will indemnify and keep indemnified the NSW Trustee and Guardian
    in relation to any claims resulting from administering the estate under s 94 of the
    NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009.

This information should be provided in the form of a sworn and signed statutory
declaration in accordance with the Oaths Act 1900.

It is advisable that if you wish to use this option you seek independent legal advice to
assist in the drafting of the statutory declaration.

Once the statutory declaration is sworn and signed you should send the document to
NSWT&G.

What is a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration?
A grant of probate is required when the deceased person has a will. Probate is a
process which proves the legality of a will and gives the executor legal authority to make
decisions about an estate. A grant of letters of administration is required when the
deceased person does not have a will or the will does not legally dispose of their
property. This process allows the Supreme Court to appoint someone to administer the
estate. You should contact a solicitor for legal advice about what may be required.

If a deceased person dies intestate (without legal disposition of their estate) and there
are no family members involved, NSWT&G may administer the estate and will refer it to
the Trustee Division. If this happens the branch dealing with the estate will contact the
next of kin directly.

Contact Us
Please do not hesitate to contact an Finalisation Officer to discuss any question you may
have. A Finalisation Officer cannot provide legal advice. This should be obtained from a
qualified Solicitor.


This document has been prepared by the Attorney General’s Department for general information purposes.
While every care has been taken in relation to its accuracy no warranty is given or implied. Further,
recipients should obtain their own independent advice before making decision that rely on this information.
                                                                                           07/09




                                           NSW Trustee and Guardian
                                              160 Marsden Street
                                               Locked Bag 5115
                                            Parramatta NSW 2124

      Phone: (02) 8688 2600    Facsimile: (02) 8688 9783     Toll Free: 1300 360 466   TTY: 1800 882 889
                                         Email: opcmail@opc.nsw.gov.au

				
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