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Estate Administration Letters of Administration (Without a Will)

Letters of Administration (Without a Will)

To obtain a letter of administration for a deceased estate, the general process is as follows:

Step 1:  Determine Eligibility

Identify the appropriate person to apply for the letter of administration.  In general, the person may be the next of kin according to the schedule of state’s legislation. 

Step 2:  Locating Relevant Documents

The following are the general relevant documents

  • original death certificate
  • identification documents of the applicant – establishing the relationship between the applicant and the deceased
  • any writing wills (invalid or informal)


Step 3:  Assess the Estate

Search and prepare list of the deceased’s assets and liabilities.

Step 4:  Advertise Intention to Apply

Publish a notice on the Law Report online or on newspaper to notify your intention to apply for a letter of administration.

Notify the public trustee your intention to apply and provide them with a copy of the publication.

Step 5:  Prepare the Application

  • download and complete the Application for letters of administration (Intestacy)
  • Affidavit from the applicant to support the application 
  • Affidavit of publication
  • Certificate of Exhibit – original & certified copy of Will and original death certificate


Step 6:  File the Application

Filing the application with the required documents with the court.  A filing fee is required.

Step 7:  Court Process

The Court will process the application.  If the application is complied with the legislative requirement, a letter of administration will be granted and the Court will notify you to collect the grant.

Step 8:  Administer the Estate

If the Court is satisfied with the application and appoints the applicant as the official administrator of the estate, the administrator is authorised to:

  • collect and manage the deceased’s estate
  • pay off any outstanding debts and liabilities
  • distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the the rules of intestacy or any existing informal will.


Step 9:  Finalise the Estate

When all debts are paid and assets distributed, the administrator should prepare a final accounting of the estate.  This report should be shared with the beneficiaries and, in some cases, filed with the Court.

***This is general information for applying letters of administration, each situation is unique and steps may be varied according to the State Law and complexity of the situation, you should seek legal advice to ensure the compliance with the legal requirement to administer the estate efficiently.