Supreme Court > Probate > Application Fact Sheets

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Applying for a grant of letters of administration

    

  1. Letters of Administration​
  2. Purpose of a Grant of Administration​
  3. Need for a Grant of Administration​
  4. Time frame to apply for a Grant of Administration​
  5. Who can apply for a Grant of Administration​
  6. Caveats and contested proceedings​
  7. Steps in applying for a Grant of Administration​​​
  8. Filing your application with the Court​
  9. Processing your application​
  10. Precedent Forms
  11. Practitioner Checklist​


​​1. Letters of Adm​​​​inistration​

A grant of Letters of Administration is a legal document issued by the Court, which allows the administrator(s) to manage and distribute the deceased's assets.

There are two distinct types of applications for Letters of Administration:

  1. Letters of Administration –  the deceased died without leaving a will ( died intestate) 
  2. Letters of Administration with the Will annexed – the deceased left a Will but there is no executor available to apply for a grant of probate. For example, if the will did not name an executor, or the sole executor has died or is otherwise unwilling or unable to act. A separate fact sheet is available in relation to applications for Letters of Administration with the will annexed.

Uncontested applications for Letters of Administration are determined by a registrar on the papers (in chambers). There is no hearing in court.

The Court will not make a grant of Letters of Administration if there are no assets held in NSW to be administered.

Applying for Letters of Administration can be a complex process. You must firstly conduct a thorough search to locate any Will that may have been made by the deceased or any document that might set out the deceased's intentions in relation to the distribution of their estate.  It is advisable to seek legal advice before commencing an application to apply for a grant of Letters of Administration. 


2. The purpose of a G​​​rant of Administration​

The administrator of an estate is responsible for collecting the deceased's assets, paying any debts and then distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.  The reason that the Court issues a grant is so that the administrator can take that grant to persons that currently have the assets of the estate or that are debtors of the estate (such as banks and retirement villages that are holding bonds) and require them to transfer the assets or monies to the administrator (or to such other persons as the administrator may nominate).

If a deceased person owned assets in more than one state or country it may be necessary to apply for a grant in each place where assets were located. However, if a deceased had assets in different states of Australia or in certain countries, you may apply for a resealing of the original grant. A separate fact sheet is available in relation to applications for Reseals of Grants.


3. Need for a Gra​nt of Administration​

Depending on the type, size and value of the assets located in NSW it may not be necessary to obtain a grant in NSW. There is no statutory requirement to obtain a grant of representation in every case.  Some asset holders will often release modest amounts without the need for a grant being made provided you can establish that you are the next of kin.

If the deceased owned real estate solely in his or her name, or owned real estate as tenants in common with someone else, then a grant will be required to deal with the asset. If however the deceased was a joint tenant of real estate with someone else that survived them, then the real estate passes automatically to the survivor and it is not necessary to obtain a grant, although you will need to complete and file documents with the Land Titles Office to ensure that the certificate of title is updated. If you are uncertain whether land was held as tenants in common or as joint tenants you can find this out from the Land Titles Office. See http://www.lpi.nsw.gov.au/ for more information.

If the deceased owned no real estate that requires a grant to be obtained then you should consider approaching the asset holders of the other assets (eg banks, superannuation funds, insurers) to determine if they are willing to transfer the assets without a grant being made. It may be possible to have the asset holder transfer the assets by allowing them to see the original death certificate and by the person claiming signing a declaration of their entitlement and/or an indemnity in favour of the asset holder (in case someone else subsequently makes a claim). This option should be considered particularly if you are the deceased's surviving spouse or defacto spouse or are otherwise the sole remaining next of kin. Each asset holder may apply different criteria and requirements for releasing assets. The proceeds of life insurance and superannuation generally do not form part of the estate, however this will depend on the terms of the relevant policy. You should however verify with the relevant insurance company or superannuation trustee whether they will require a grant to be made or resealed before they determine who is entitled to the superannuation or insurance funds.


4. Time frame to a​pply for a Grant of Administration​

The Supreme Court Rules 1970, Part 78 rule 16 specifies that an application for a grant should be filed within 6 months from the date of death of the deceased. If it is filed any later an explanation must be given to the court explaining the delay. This can be done by either including an explanation in the affidavit of the administrator or lodging a separate affidavit of delay.

There is no prescribed or approved form for an Affidavit of Delay, however you can use and adapt UCPR Form 40 at http://www.ucprforms.justice.nsw.gov.au/. Head the document "Affidavit of delay" and set out the explanation for the delay in numbered paragraphs.


5. Who can apply for a Gr​​​ant of Administration​

  1. Spouse or defacto spouse​

The most common applications for a Grant of Administration are made by the surviving spouse or defacto spouse.

To be a defacto spouse, entitled to share in the estate, the relationship must have been registered under the Relationships Register Act 2010, or be a de facto relationship that:

  • had been in existence for a continuous period of 2 years, or
  • had resulted in the birth of a child.
A sole spouse or defacto spouse is entitled to the full estate of the deceased if the only children of the deceased are children that the deceased and applicant had together.

If there are children of the deceased that are not children of the spouse or defacto spouse (i.e. children from another relationship) then those children may be entitled to a share of the estate, and if they are adults they may themselves also be entitled to apply for a Grant of Administration. This will depend on the value of the estate. If the estate is valued over a specified amount, known as the statutory legacy, then such children are entitled to one half (to be shared amongst such children if there are more than one) of the value of the estate over the statutory legacy. The spouse or defacto spouse is entitled to the statutory legacy plus one half share of the value over the statutory legacy. The value of the statutory legacy depends on when the deceased died and can change each quarter depending on changes to the Consumer Price Index. The statutory legacy is calculated from a base figure of $350,000 that was set in 2005. The method of calculating the appropriate statutory legacy is set out in section 106 of the Succession Act.

If there is a legal spouse and a defacto spouse, or there is more than one defacto spouse meeting the criteria under the Succession Act, then such spouses are entitled to share equally in the estate (subject to any entitlement of children who are not also children of one the spouses as noted above) and they are all entitled to apply for a grant of administration. If such spouses cannot agree to either apply jointly or that one applies with the consent of the other(s), then they should each seek independent legal advice.

 

  1. Statutory order of eligible relatives (intestacy rules)​

The Succession Act 2006 (NSW) sets out the order in which eligible relatives will inherit the estate of a deceased person. Generally only someone who is entitled to all or a share of the estate is entitled to apply for Letters of Administration.

​In basic terms, the order of relatives who can inherit if there is no spouse or defacto spouse is as follows:

  • children (including the children of any predeceasing children)
  • parents
  • brothers and sisters (including the children of any predeceasing brother or sister)
  • grandparents
  • aunts and uncles (including the children of any predeceasing aunt or uncle)
  • cousins 

Each 'category' must be exhausted before moving on to the next and once an eligible relative is found, the process stops.

If there is more than one person in a "category" entitled to a share of the estate then those persons can apply jointly for a grant of administration (for instance the children of the deceased).

If only one or some of several persons entitled to share in the estate apply they will either need to obtain the consents of those other persons who are not applying, which is the best option, or they will need to serve those other persons, or at least those ones who live in Australia, of their intention to apply. In those cases where consents cannot be obtained the Court may require the applicant to provide a bond to cover the share of the estate of those beneficiaries that have not provided a consent. Consents of persons who are currently under 18 years old should be sought from their legal guardian, or if the legal guardian is the applicant, from another family member who is prepared to act as their tutor and is willing to provide such consent.

 

  1. Standing to apply​

Generally only persons who are entitled to a share of the estate are entitled to apply for administration. Applications made by a relative who is not entitled themselves to a share of the estate "on behalf of" a relative that is entitled but does not want to make the application themselves (such as the child of a deceased on behalf of the surviving spouse/parent) will not be granted. A grant may be made to the attorney of a person entitled, if the person entitled lives outside of NSW. A grant may also be made to the legal guardian of entitled children who are under 18, or to the guardian or manager of a person who is entitled but because of a mental incapacity is unable to apply themselves. Grants to attorneys,  guardians or mangers are limited grants and are expressed to be "for the use and benefit" of the person entitled, and limited until they are able to apply for and obtain a grant.

A creditor of the estate may be able to apply, but normally only if none of the next of kin who are entitled under intestacy apply themselves. Such applications are very rare and are not dealt with in this fact sheet. If you are a creditor thinking of making such an application it is recommended that you seek independent legal advice.


6. Caveats and contested proceedings​

A person with an interest in the estate of a deceased person can file a document called a caveat which prevents the Court from issuing a grant in relation to the estate. See Supreme Court Rules Part 78 Division 10. A caveat remains in force for 6 months from the date on which it is filed. There is an approved form for a caveat (UCPR form 141) and a filing fee is payable. The caveat must be served on any known applicants or potential applicants for a grant of Probate or Administration of the estate. The Court will not stop making a grant in relation to a pending application simply because someone with a potential interest writes a letter or calls the registry. The reasons a caveat is filed include where someone wants to challenge the validity of a will, which may be an informal will or a will that appears to be valid but where there is a claim that the will is a forgery or that there is doubt as to the testamentary capacity of the testator, or a claim that the will was executed under undue pressure. There may be circumstances where there are two or more possible wills naming different executors. A person intending to apply for a grant of Administration that wants to proceed with that application can apply to the Court for a caveat to be removed if they believe that the caveator has no standing or that there is no real dispute as to whether there is a valid will or not. See Supreme Court Rules Part 78 rule 71. Alternatively if there is doubt as to the validity of a will contested proceedings can be commenced for probate to be granted in solemn form. Such proceedings are commenced by statement of claim. See Supreme Court Rules Part 78 rule 72. An application for a grant in solemn form is determined by a Judge rather than a registrar. If there is a prospect that an application will be contested it is recommended that the applicant seeks independent legal advice.

 

7. Steps in applying for a ​Grant of Administration​​

  1. Search for a will​

Before the Court will make a Grant of Administration it will need to be convinced that the deceased did not leave a Will or some other document that set out their intention in relation to the distribution of their estate. A thorough search must be carried out to find a will. It is not sufficient to say in an affidavit that the deceased said that he or she did not have a will.

The first searches should be undertaken at the deceased's home (or last place of residence) amongst the deceased's personal papers and belongings.

If the will cannot be found amongst the deceased's personal papers further searches will need to done. At the least you will need to make enquiries at: 

  • The NSW Trustee & Guardian
  • The Supreme Court of NSW (people can deposit their wills at the Court)
  • Any banks that the deceased held accounts at
  • Any solicitors that the deceased may have engaged


It is also a good idea to make enquiries with other close relatives and any close friends of the deceased.

You will be required to list all the searches that were made for a Will in paragraph 3 of the Affidavit of Applicant.

  1. Obtain a death certificate​

You will need to obtain a death certificate for the deceased. If the deceased died in NSW you will need to apply for a death certificate from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. For further information see http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/Pages/apply-for-certificates/apply-for-certificates.aspx

You may be required to obtain further certificates from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages to include with your application. See "Affidavit of Applicant for Administration – Establishing the applicants entitlement to apply and who else is entitled", below.

  1. Determine who is entitled under intestacy and who should apply​​

See "Who can apply for a Grant of Administration?" above. If there is more than one person entitled to apply those persons should either agree to apply jointly, or that one or some of them should apply with the consent of the other(s).

You will be required to set out all the people who are entitled under intestacy (in paragraph 4), and set out the relevant facts that prove the entitlement (in paragraph 5) of the Affidavit of Applicant.

  1. Advertise a notice of your intention to apply for a grant of Letters of Administration​

Before applying for a grant you must publish an online notice of your intention to apply for Letters of Administration on the NSW Online Registry.

Probate Notices published on the Online Registry can be searched for and viewed by anybody who might have an interest in the estate.

You must wait at least 14 days from the date of publication before you file your Summons for Letters of Administration.

A case number is assigned when the notice is published. You should take a note of this case number and insert it on the Summons for Letters of Administration and other documents. You should also refer to this number if you make any enquiries with the Registry.

The Notice of Intended Application serves several purposes:

  • ​It allows any creditors of the deceased to make a claim on the estate.
  • It allows any relatives of the deceased or other persons who think they are more entitled under intestacy to challenge the proposed application. Such persons may file a caveat. A caveat prevents the Court from making a grant for 6 months (or until the caveat is removed).
  • It put any relatives of the deceased who may be "eligible" persons under section 57 of the Succession Act on notice. The Succession Act allows "Family Provision" claims to be made by such "eligible" persons who believe that the deceased should have made provision for them under a will (being more than they are entitled under intestacy).
  • It allows any person who may have a Will or knowledge of the existence of a Will of the deceased to bring this to the attention of the proposed applicant. If there is a dispute about the existence or validity of a will such persons may also file a caveat.

The applicable fee to publish a notice can be found in the Schedule​ of fees.

The online notice can be published using the NSW online registry using the following link: Online Registry. You will be required to register as a user first. Payment is required by credit card.

Alternatively, if you do not want to use a credit card, you can complete the manual form requesting that the registry publish the notice for you. You may post the completed form to the Supreme Court of NSW, GPO Box 3, Sydney 2001, with your payment and the registry staff will publish the notice and confirm with you by email.

Please carefully check and preview your notice prior to paying and submitting it for publication and edit it if necessary.  If you notice a mistake after publishing it you must notify the Registry via an email to supremecourt.probate@courts.nsw.gov.au  prior to submitting your Summons and grant application. A fee is charged for this service. See Schedul​e of fees​.

Qualifications in the notice:

On the online form to publish the Notice of Intention to Apply there is an opportunity to add additional text if the information that has been collected does not fully explain why an application for administration is being made by the particular applicant. If for example the applicant is the Attorney of a next of kin this should be stated when this additional information is prompted for. In this "Additional Information" field you should also note if the application is limited in anyway. For instance if the applicant is the guardian of someone who is entitled you would insert: "For the use and benefit of (Name) and limited until he/she is able to apply for and obtain a grant."

  1. Complete and file the forms

The information below in relation to completing the forms is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. The information is designed to help you with a simple application for a Grant of Administration and does not cover all the various situations that can arise. The information and documents that may be required to be filed may vary depending on who is applying and what other persons may possibly be entitled.  

The forms provided are precedents and intended to be downloaded and edited to insert relevant information and to delete any instructions or inapplicable words before printing. You cannot currently submit these forms electronically. They must be printed out, signed and witnessed as necessary, and lodged at or posted to the Registry Office (with payment of the filing fee if applicable).

Links to Legislation and Rules:

If you are unsure as to whether you need to, or are entitled to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration in NSW please seek legal advice from a qualified solicitor.

If you have difficultly completing the forms or need further guidance, please contact the Registry by emailing supremecourt.probate@courts.nsw.gov.au  Registry staff can assist you with procedural advice, but are unable to provide you with legal advice.


i. Summons (UCPR Form 111) 

  • On the summons form information appearing after a "#" is optional and may not need to be included. If information appearing after a "#" does not apply delete it from the form. Delete the "#"s. Words appearing between "[  ]" are instructions as to what information should be included at that part of the form – overwrite the words appearing between the [  ]  with the relevant information.
     
  • Insert the case number which was assigned when the Notice of Intention to apply was published.
     
  • In relation to the "Late of" if the deceased resided in NSW insert the name of the suburb, if the deceased resided in another state of Australia insert the name of the suburb and the state, and if the deceased resided overseas insert the name of the country.
     
  • The gross value of the estate is the known or estimated value of the New South Wales assets. The court filing fee is determined based on the gross value of the New South Wales assets only. In the affidavit in support of the application you undertake to advise the Court if there are any additional assets found later. If the value of new assets takes the gross value of the estate to a higher fee range then you may be liable to pay an additional fee.
     
  • In the "relief claimed" part of the form complete the following: 

    Type of grant: Letters of Administration

    Capacity of the applicant:.( your relationship to the deceased – e.g. spouse, or defacto spouse, son, or daughter of the deceased)

Qualifications or limitations on the grant

​If the applicant(s) are not the sole beneficiaries to the estate you should note "That the administration bond be dispensed with". If the application is being made by a guardian of a person with a disability the qualification you should add is "For the use and benefit of (name) and limited until he/she is recovers from his/her disability" If the application is being made by an Attorney on behalf of a person out of the jurisdiction you should add "For the use and benefit of (name) and limited until he/she applies for and obtains a grant."

In the "Filing Details" section of the form ensure that you include your telephone number and email address. The registry will try to contact you using your email address if there are any problems with the application. In the details about the plaintiff section, as well as including a contact telephone and email address, you must provide the home address of each applicant, and an address for service. The address for service must be in NSW and should not be a PO Box. If hard copy documents need to be sent to you the Court will send them to the address for service. The address for service should be the address on the stamped self-addressed envelope supplied with your application.


​ii. Affidavit of Applicant for Administration (UCPR Form 119)

The affidavit is an important document that sets out the information that will allow the Registrar to consider and approve your application. The affidavit needs to be sworn before a JP or a solicitor, or a Notary Public /Consular  Officer of the Australian High Commission. 

On the affidavit form information appearing after a "#" is optional. If information appearing after "#" does not apply to your application delete it from the form. Words appearing between "[  ]" are instructions as to what information should be included at that part of the form – overwrite the words appearing between the [  ] with the relevant information. Similarly, in the body of the affidavit words appearing in "(  )" and written in italics are instructions as to what needs to be inserted at this part of the affidavit. Before finalising the affidavit please ensure that it includes all the information that is required, that it makes sense, and that any irrelevant parts have been deleted. 

The form of affidavit is designed for a single applicant. If the application is being made by two or more applicants you can either draft separate affidavits for each applicant, or preferably you can adapt the affidavit so that it is sworn by each of the applicants. The affidavit can be sworn or affirmed by different applicants on different days before different witnesses, although it will normally be more convenient if all applicants can swear or affirm the affidavit on the same occasion. If the affidavit is being sworn by more than one applicant repeat the "name, address, occupation and date" information for each applicant, and start the affidavit off by saying "We" instead of "I". At the end of the affidavit you will need to have a separate section for signing and witnessing the affidavit for each of the applicants. 

Please ensure that any annexures referred to in the affidavit are firmly attached before the affidavit is sworn. The witness will need to sign the annexures and identify them as annexures to the affidavit. The Inventory of Property (UCPR form 117) must be attached to the affidavit. If the affidavit is by more than one applicant and witnessed by different witnesses, then each witness should identify any annexures. 

The deponent(s) and witness(es) must sign each page of the affidavit. See UCPR 35.7B. 

Establishing that the deceased is dead

The first paragraph of the Affidavit of Applicant requires you to establish the death of the deceased. The usual way that this is done is to annex the death certificate of the deceased issued by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. If the deceased died in NSW or in another Australian State this is normally sufficient. If the deceased died overseas you will in addition to annexing the death certificate (or equivalent certification of death issued by an appropriate governmental body) be required to state who identified the deceased's body. If the deceased's body was identified by someone other than the applicant you may be required to file a separate affidavit by that person. Most overseas death certificates are either in English or have English subtext. However, if the death certificate is not in English you will also need to annex a certified translation of the death certificate. 

If you need to have the original death certificate returned to you please annex a certified copy of the death certificate (the certification of the copy must be by a solicitor or JP) and submit the original death certificate as a separate document. 

Searches for a will

In the second paragraph of the Affidavit of Applicant you are required to state that the deceased died without leaving a will. This is a basic requirement before the Court can issue a Grant of Letters of Administration. You need to establish that the deceased did not leave a valid will. The formal requirements for a will are set out in Part 2.1 of the Succession Act. The main requirements are that the will should be in writing and signed by the deceased and two witnesses. The Court may nevertheless hold that a document that does not meet the formal requirements of a will, sets out the deceased's intention and should be regarded as a will. If you have found a document which may arguably be a will or that sets out what the deceased intended to happen when they died you are required to disclose this to the Court, and produce the document to the Court. If you are uncertain as to whether a document may be a valid will or not it is recommended that you seek independent legal advice. 

In the third paragraph of the Affidavit of Applicant you are required to set out all the searches that have been made for a will. See "Search for a Will" above for the searches that you must do. 

Establishing the applicant's entitlement to apply and who else is entitled

In paragraph 4 of the Affidavit of Applicant you are required to list (all of) the persons who are entitled to a share of the estate. See information appearing above as to who may be entitled to share in an intestate estate. 

In paragraph 5 of the Affidavit of Applicant you are required to state the facts establishing that the persons listed in paragraph 4 are entitled. You are required to annex any birth, marriage, death or divorce certificates that prove the entitlement of those persons. The actual wording that you use in this paragraph will depend on who is entitled and what their relationship is to the deceased. The objective is to account for anybody who would otherwise be entitled under the statutory entitlement for intestate estates. You will either need to state that there was nobody in the relevant category or establish that any person in such category has died or is no longer entitled, for instance if an earlier spouse has divorced the deceased. 

  • If the deceased was living overseas at the time of his or her death then the entitlement to the estate may be governed by the law of the place where they were living rather than NSW law. If that is the case it is recommended that you seek independent legal advice.
     
  • If the persons entitled are not close relatives of the deceased and/or there are large families involved it may be appropriate to prepare a family tree for the deceased, to assist in accounting for everybody that may have an entitlement. The family tree can be annexed to the Affidavit of Applicant. You will however still be required to provide relevant evidence in relation to the people shown on the tree.
     
  • If any of the certificates or other evidence are not in English, or do not have English subtext you will need to provide a certified translation of the relevant document.
     

    The following sentences are examples of the information that you should provide:

     The deceased never married. or

    The deceased was married once and once only and that marriage was to me on (date). Annexed and marked "B" is a certificate of registration of marriage. or

    The deceased was married three times and three times only. Her/his first marriage was to (Name) on (date). Her/his marriage to (Name) was dissolved by (Name of Court) on (date) and annexed and marked "C" is a sealed copy of the decree absolute. The second marriage of the deceased was to (Name) on (date). (Name) died on (date) and annexed and marked "D" is the death certificate of (name). The third marriage of the deceased was to me on (date) and annexed and marked "E" is a certificate of registration of marriage.

    The deceased was not the parent of any child. or

    The deceased was the parent of 6 children, and 6 children only, namely (in order of birth):

    (Name) born (date);

    (Name) born (date);

    (Name) born (date);

    (Name) born (date);

    (Name) born (date);

    (Name) born (date).

    A copy of the birth certificate of (Name), which shows his earlier born brothers and sisters, is annexed and marked "G".
     
    The parents of the deceased were (Name) and I, this deponent. Annexed and marked "B" is the birth certificate of the deceased. or

    The parents of the deceased were (Name) and (Name). (Name) died on (date) and (Name) died on (date). Annexed and marked "C" and "D" respectively are their death certificates.

     
  • To prove that someone is the child of someone or that someone is the parent of someone you will normally need to provide the relevant birth certificate. It may not however be necessary to provide the birth certificates of every sibling (brother or sister). Usually NSW birth certificates will show the given names of any older siblings (of the same parents). The name of an older sibling on a birth certificate will usually be regarded as sufficient proof that the older sibling was a son or daughter of the same parent(s) as the child on the relevant birth certificate.
     
  • The marital status of the deceased and the names of spouses or children listed on the death certificate of the deceased cannot be relied upon as evidence that the deceased was married or not, or as to the identity of any spouses or children of the deceased. Relevant marriage or birth certificates will need to be provided.
     
  • If you are applying as the defacto spouse of the deceased you are required to complete and swear a special affidavit setting out relevant matters in relation to such applications. See UCPR Form 127 which can be downloaded from http://www.ucprforms.justice.nsw.gov.au/. In addition you will need to complete the optional paragraphs 13 and 14 in the Affidavit of Applicant.
     
  • If you are applying in any capacity other than as the defacto spouse (or as the attorney of the defacto spouse) of the deceased you are to delete the optional paragraphs 13 and 14 in the Affidavit of Applicant. If you do this, renumber paragraph "15" as "13".
     
  • If you are applying with the consent of other persons who are entitled to a share of the estate you should refer to those consents after you describe those persons in either paragraph 4 or 5 of the Affidavit of Applicant. The form of consent may be referred to and annexed to the Affidavit of Applicant or filed as a separate document. For example if you were one of two children applying you could say "Fred Smith, my brother consents to my application for a Grant of Administration. A copy of his consent is annexed and marked "D"." 

Application by the Attorney of a person entitled

  • If a person entitled to a share of the estate is not a resident of NSW then they can appoint an Attorney in NSW to apply on their behalf for Letters of Administration. In the Affidavit of Applicant you will need to include additional paragraphs referring to your appointment as the attorney of the person entitled. For example:
  1. By Power of Attorney dated (date, name) appointed me {his or her} attorney to apply to this Court for a grant of Letters of Administration.
  2. The Power of Attorney is annexed and marked "F".
  3. I have not received any notice of revocation of the Power of Attorney. 
  • If the Power of Attorney is specifically for the purposes of applying for Letters of Administration then the original Power of Attorney should be annexed to the Affidavit of Applicant. 
  • If the Power of Attorney is a general Power of Attorney a certified copy of the Power of Attorney must be annexed to the Affidavit of Applicant.

Liabilities

  • In paragraph 11 of the Affidavit of Applicant you are required to list the known liabilities of the deceased. This will include any unpaid bills, any outstanding mortgage debts and tax liabilities. 
  • State only the known liabilities of the deceased at the date of death. It is not necessary to furnish evidence of the amounts. Funeral, burial, cremation and other testamentary expenses incurred after the death of the deceased do not need to be included. 
  • In paragraph 12 of the Affidavit of Applicant you are required to state the gross and net value of the estate. The gross value of the estate should be taken from the total value of the NSW assets listed on the Inventory of Property. The net value of the estate is the gross value of the estate less the total of the liabilities listed in paragraph 11.


iii. Inventory of Property (UCPR Form 117)

  • The Inventory of Property must be signed by all applicants and witnessed by the JP or solicitor who witnesses the Affidavit of Applicant. The original Inventory of Property must be attached to the Affidavit of Applicant. You must make 2 other copies of the signed document and attach it to the grant document (see v below). 
  • The Inventory of Property must disclose the NSW assets of the deceased person. Assets of the deceased person located outside of NSW can be noted but if they are then they must be clearly identified by including them under a distinct heading. The value of assets outside of NSW is not used to calculate the gross value of the estate. 
  • Assets should be described so that they can be clearly identified. 
  • For real estate in NSW record the address and title particulars. Property that was held by the deceased as a joint tenants with someone else passes to the surviving joint tenants, and as such does not form an asset of the estate which needs to be included. Such assets can be noted, but if they are then they need to be clearly identified under a separate heading. The value of such assets is not used to calculate the gross value of the estate. If real estate was held as a tenant in common with other persons, you must state the value of the share held by the deceased as at the date of death. The value of this share must be taken into account when calculating the gross value of the estate. 
  • Any assets located in NSW other than real estate that will need to be collected or transferred must be accurately described so that the relevant asset holder can identify it. For bank accounts set out the account name and branch, account number and the amount held at the date of death. For shares describe the name of the company and the number of shares. 
  • For each NSW asset note the known or estimated value of the asset. It is not necessary to obtain a valuation of each asset.


iv. Affidavit that Deceased was not in a Defacto Relationship (UCPR Form 126)

Except where you are applying as the defacto spouse of the deceased you are required to file an affidavit proving that the deceased did not leave a defacto spouse. This affidavit can be sworn by the applicant if they are able to provide this evidence, but it can also be sworn by some other person. If the person swearing this affidavit did not actually live with the deceased then they will need to set out their qualifications to swear the affidavit (see paragraph 2), which will include information as to how regularly they saw or communicated with the deceased.

v. Grant of Letters of Administration document (UCPR Form 112)

On this form insert the case number, the information in relation to the deceased (name, late of, and date of death) and the Court. 

Prepare 2 copies of this form. One of each copy should be annexed to the front of a copy of the Inventory of Property.  

Do not sign this form. This document will be dated and signed by a Registrar. One copy, which will become the original Grant of Letters of Administration, will be posted to you in the stamped self addressed envelope provided.

 vi. An A4 size Self Addressed Stamped Envelope

The signed and sealed Grant of Letters of Administration will be posted to you in this envelope.

vii. Consent to Administration (UCPR Form 125) – only if applicable

  • If there are other persons entitled to a share of the estate you should ask each of them to sign a consent to you being appointed as the administrator.  If you are applying as a defacto spouse of the deceased you should seek consents to your appointment from those persons who would have been entitled if you were not applying (this would normally be the children or parents of the deceased). 
  • The person who witnesses the person consenting can be any individual over the age of 18 years. 
  • The witness to the consenting person must complete an affidavit verifying that they witnessed the person giving their consent. The affidavit must be sworn before a JP or a solicitor 
  • If someone entitled to a share of the estate has not provided a consent and they live in Australia then you will need to provide evidence that you have served notice of the application on them. You will need to provide an affidavit of service which annexes the letter that you sent to such persons and state whether you served such persons personally or by posting it to them, and when. Such service will need to be at least 14 days before you file your application. See information above (Who can Apply for a Grant?) as to obtaining consents from minors or persons with a disability.


viii. Administration Bond – only if applicable

  • If some of the persons entitled to share in the estate are minors or if a person entitled refuses to provide a consent to your application, or if you are unable to obtain their consent (for instance if they are overseas and cannot be located), then you may be required to provide an Administration Bond to cover the share of the estate that those persons are entitled to. An Administration Bond is not normally required to cover the share of an adult if they have been served with notice of the application. 
  • An Administration Bond is a document that promises to pay the relevant amount in the event that the estate is fraudulently or negligently administered and creditors or beneficiaries miss out on their proper share of the estate. 
  • The form of an Administration Bond is UCPR form 130 which can be downloaded from http://www.ucprforms.justice.nsw.gov.au/. Normally the Administration Bond should be provided by two persons, other than the applicant(s). These persons are called sureties. The sureties should have sufficient assets so that they would be able to pay the relevant amount as specified in the bond if called upon to do so. The sureties may be required to provide an affidavit setting out what money and other assets they own which they could call upon and realise if they were required to pay the amount secured by the bond. 
  • You may apply to have the requirement to provide an Administration Bond dispensed with, or to reduce the requirement so that the Bond is provided by only one surety or that the Bond is only provided by the applicant(s) themselves. Whether the Registrar considering your application will dispense or reduce the requirement for an Administration Bond will depend on the circumstances of each case. Relevant considerations will be the overall size of the estate and the value of the estate that may need to be the subject of a Bond, and the family and financial circumstances of the applicant(s), and their relationship to the persons entitled. If you are applying to have an Administration Bond dispensed with (or the relevant requirements reduced) you will need to provide appropriate evidence.


8. Filing your application with the Court​

All applications must be filed at the Supreme Court of NSW Registry, either in person or by post.

Make sure you have all the correct documentation

Your filing fee (where the gross value of the NSW estate is over $100 000.00). T​he fee can be paid by cheque, money order, cash or via credit card/EFTPOS facilities. Please note that applications will not be processed until the filing fee has been paid.


9. Processing your​ application​

Your application will be considered by a registrar. The registry aims to process applications within 5 business days of filing. Current processing delays are published on the Supreme Court website. Complex applications may take additional time to be considered. Complex matters include (but are not limited to) matters involving informal wills, copies of wills, presumption of death, limited purpose grants, or administration applications not being made by the next of kin.

If further information is required before the grant can issue the Registrar will write or email detailing further steps required.

The grant of Letters of Administration will be posted back to you in the envelope provided.
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​10. Precedent​​​ Forms​

Please use the following precedent forms​ when applying for a grant of letters of administration.


11. Practitioner Checklist​

​Practitioners are advised to use this checklist to ensure your application is in order prior to filing.

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

All assistance that is ​​pr​ovided by the Court is procedural guidance only; you should not interpret this page as offering legal advice in response to your specific legal problem.


​If you are in any way unsure about how to apply this procedural guidance to your own legal problem, you need to seek legal advice from an independent lawyer. The Court cannot help you decide how to pursue or protect your interests through litigation as this would compromise its impartiality.

Related links 

​​Proba​te forms    

Rest assured: a legal guide to wills, estates and funerals in New South Wales

LawAs​sist guide on what to do after someone dies​

Have an enquiry that is not covered in the FAQs or the Filing Instructions?

Email the Court's probate registry staff

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