Probate - Distributing the Estate
of the estate, after the Grant of Probate, is the final stage
the administration of an estate. If, as Trustee, you
are the only beneficiary, well,
it should be no major drama.
where there is more than one
beneficiary, it can get difficult.
It doesn't happen all the time,
is nothing more than the hint of money, to agitate some people.
follows, is a discussion of some of the things you need to think about,
before you undertake the distribution. It is directed mainly at the
situation where there is more than one beneficiary.
you are the Trustee, and only beneficiary, any of the assets
be transferred directly to you as beneficiary. This is known as an in-specie transfer.
Click to visit the
page where there is advice as to how this is done.
If there is more than one
you even consider distributing the estate, after the grant of probate,
it is important that you
ensure that all outstanding debts of the deceased, have been paid.
To Consider, Before
Distribution After Probate.
Potential Family Provision
who has not received a benefit from an estate, may make a claim against
the estate within 12 months of death. This is an application for a
Family Provision Order. That person has to be an eligible person,
click to learn who are eligible persons.
you are the legal representative of the estate, and not receiving any
benefit from the estate, you should not distribute the estate, until at
least 12 months after the date of death.
you distribute an estate within 12 months of the date of death, you
take the risk of being personally liable, if a successful claim for a
Family provision Order is made.
There is a means of distributing the estate 6 months after death, and
receiving protection from liability. Click to learn the way to do this.
you have a thorough knowledge of the deceased person's affairs, you
might decide to distribute anyway. There is a risk in doing this. It is
your decision, but, if you decide to, at the minimum, you
obtain the written consent of every beneficiary, or potential claimants
you can identify.
to read the requirements, to ensure you have protection from personal
liability, for any claim by a beneficiary or known potential claimants,
after distribution of an estate, after the Grant of Probate.
If in any
doubt at all, you should not distribute an estate after probate is
granted, until at least 12
months after death.
you receive notice of a Family Provision claim, or any claim, for that
matter, you should not distribute at all, until the claim is
Transfer of Property
- It could be shares, land, or anything where a title is held. It can
be directly transferred to a beneficiary. However, if it is to be sold,
or you do not intend to distribute for 12 months, it should be
transferred to the Trustee's name. Once it is in the Trustee's name, it
can then be sold, or transferred to a beneficiary at a later date.
- Most banks or financial institutions offer the facility to transfer
funds directly to a nominated account. Whether you do this, will depend
on the number of beneficiaries, and the complexity of the estate.
you follow the advice not to distribute for 12 months, you should
invest the money in an interest bearing account or similar. You do have
the obligation to protect the assets of an estate. Most Wills provide
some powers in this regard.
- You may have to do a final tax return. If it is a large estate, and
it is invested, you may even have to get a tax file number and lodge a
return for the estate.
Unknown Claims by Creditors
- When determining the assets, you should discover all known debts.
However, there may be outstanding claims by unknown creditors. Provided
you distribute at least 6 months after death, and 30 days, after you
advertise of your intention to distribute, you are relieved of personal
liability. Click to read how.
If you are
unsure as to whether
you have the power to undertake a course of action in administering an
estate, you should make
application to the Supreme Court for approval. Failure to do so, may
do not have familiarity with the Forms, or the estate is complicated,
you should seek legal assistance in administering the estate after the
Grant of Probate.
costs in most cases, are not your personal liability, but are
paid from the estate, before it is distributed.
family lawyer, or solicitor is familiar with the required procedures
1055 Fax 02-4333