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Estate Administration

The administration of a Deceased Estate involves executing the wishes of a person who has passed away, in line with their last Will and Testament. It is typically a process that requires sharp attention to detail, as well as great sensitivity and care. Maddens Lawyers Deceased Estate Department has many years of experience in administering Deceased Estates, and can carefully and helpfully guide Estate Executors and Beneficiaries through the process.

Frequently asked questions

What is an Estate?

An estate is the collection of what is ‘left behind’ by a person after they die i.e. their assets and liabilities.

Assets can include:

  • Property (provided it is not jointly owned with another person)
  • Banked savings
  • Shares, stocks and bonds
  • Motor vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Personal effects, such as jewellery and other personal items

Assets typically do not include:

Property jointly owned with another person (The deceased’s share of the property passes to the other owner when the will-maker dies)
Superannuation and life insurance proceeds paid to a beneficiary (rather than to the estate)
Undistributed assets of a family trust

Liabilities can include:

  • Mortgage
  • Debts
  • Unpaid taxes
What is an Executor?

An executor is a person who has been appointed in a Will to carry out the will-makers wishes, as set out in the Will.

Their duties include:

  • Locating the deceased’s most up-to-date Will
  • Determining what the duties and powers set out in the Will are
  • Looking after the deceased’s assets
  • Paying the deceased’s debts
  • Distributing the assets that the deceased has left behind in accordance with their Will
  • Arranging the funeral if the deceased has not already made arrangements

As the person appointed to carry-out a Will-maker’s wishes, an executor of a Will holds a position of great importance and trust. It is vital this position is carried out carefully and honestly.

Maddens Lawyers Deceased Estates Department will ensure the Executor of a Will is aware of, and across their duties and obligations.

What is Beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person or entity that receives benefit from a person’s estate. A beneficiary can be an individual, organisation or charity. The administration of a deceased estate is a complex process that can take some time before all details have been settled and distributed.

Maddens Lawyers Deceased Estates Department can discuss the process and what it involves.


I believe the Will is unfair, what can I do?

If you believe you’ve been unfairly provided for in a Will, you can contact our experienced Will Disputes Department.