Deceased Estates

Estate Administration

Estate administration is the process of dealing with the assets and liabilities (the Estate) of a person who has passed away. A person who administers an estate is known as either an Executor or an Administrator. An Executor is appointed in a Will, if there is no Will then the Administrator needs to be appointed by the Court.

When a loved one has passed away and has appointed you to be the executor of their Will, we understand that it can be difficult to deal with the legalities, process and requirements of administering the Estate. We are here to assist you regardless of the situation to ensure that the Estate administration is completed in a timely and efficient way.

Our biggest pieces of information at the initial stages are:

  • Almost all organisations will need a copy of the Death Certificate, but the Death Certificate sometimes takes a few weeks to arrive. This means that you may not be able to do a lot in the first few weeks, and we recommend you take the time to look after yourself and your friends/family in this difficult time.
  • You should also consider if any direct debits or payments are to be made to/from the deceased person’s bank account as there should be no transactions on their account after they’ve passed away.

It is important that you obtain professional advice to understand if a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Letters of Administration is required to be obtained from the Court. Estate administration can be complicated, there can be problematic interested parties and/or beneficiaries, numerous assets or liabilities involved, or there may be informal testamentary documents.

At Samford Family Law, we can assist to look after all of the accounts, assets, debts, tax etc of a person after that person has passed away. We can guide you through the process of contacting the various entities, as well as managing the responsibilities and obligations of being an Executor or Administrator. At the end of all of this, we will then assist with  distributing an Estate in accordance with the terms of a Will or the law.

Get in touch with us today to get assistance with the administration of a loved one’s Estate.


Legal action about unfair Wills, challenging a Will, or challenging when there is no Will

At Samford Family Law, we also have experience in assisting Executors to respond to challenges to the validity of a Will. Challenging a Will is means calling into question the validity of a Will. This may be because the person who made the Will lacked mental capacity or knowledge of the impact of the Will, or they were unduly influenced when making the Will.

If you doubt the validity of the Will, then you should make this known to the Executor as soon as possible after the deceased’s death and preferably prior to a Grant of Probate being obtained from the Court. You may wish to lodge a caveat with the court to prevent the Grant being obtained without prior notification to you.

The court will consider all available evidence regarding the mental capacity of the deceased when the Will was executed, and the conduct of family members or friends, as well evidence from lawyers, doctors and forensic specialists.

If you have any concerns about the validity of a loved ones Will, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss this further.


Our firm also have strong experience in assisting Executors or Administrators to respond to a person contesting a Will. We have also acted for beneficiaries or other interested persons who are bringing such challenges.

Contesting a Will occurs when an eligible person is unhappy with the bequest left for them under the Will (or if they were excluded entirely) and wishes to seek more from the Estate. This is commonly called a family provision application.

The Succession Act 1981 (Qld) instructs that only “eligible” people can make such a claim. The following people can apply for further provision from the Estate:

  1. spouse of the deceased (including de facto spouses);
  2. child or children (including a stepchild, adopted child or a child born outside of a marriage); and
  3. dependants (a person supported by the Deceased at the time of their death).

The court can order any provision it thinks appropriate, taking into account factors such as the financial position of the applicant, the size of the estate, and the nature of the relationship of the deceased and the applicant.

There are strict time limits that apply to making a family provision claim.


These matters are often complex, and fraught with issues (both legal, and interpersonal or emotional) and we have found that having the support of the right legal team with you can make all the difference.

No matter what the circumstances are, we will always ensure that we are in our client’s corner, and we are strong advocates for our clients.

If you have questions, or want more information about legal action about unfair Wills, challenging a Will, or challenging when there is no Will, make an appointment to talk with us today.