Estate Administration

Estate administration is about understanding the legal implications of a deceased person’s Will and executing their wishes. It is a complex process which involves the realisation, protection and distribution of the deceased assets. Distributing the deceased estate assets to beneficiaries may take 6 months to several years to administer depending on various factors such as the type of assets, whether there is a business involved, the age of the beneficiaries and whether any disputes may arise.

Our expert lawyers will assist you with timely advice, mediation or litigation where necessary.

Secure your assets and protect your loved ones today. Send us an email or give us a call on 03 5941 1622.

Estate Administration

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Frequently Asked Questions

I am the Executor - What am I required to do?

Being appointed as an executor under a Will carries obligations and responsibilities, all of which commence after the death of the person who has appointed you to that position.

It is important to understand and obtain advice on those obligations and responsibilities, and to act in accordance with the instructions set out under the Will.

The role of the executor and the steps to follow include:

  1. Locating the Will;
  2. Making funeral arrangements;
  3. Holding a preliminary conference with Duffy & Simon, and family and business associates of the deceased;
  4. Advising the beneficiaries under the Will and ascertain immediate needs of family;
  5. Protecting and investing the assets of the estate; and
  6. Undertaking the final distribution process.

Duffy & Simon will guide you in your role as executor, ensuring that you not only fulfil the wishes of the Will maker, but that you comply with your obligations at law and to the beneficiaries of the estate.

I am a Beneficiary – Am I entitled to see the Will?

A beneficiary under a Will is entitled to receive, inspect and make copies of that Will under certain circumstances.

Firstly, the will maker must be deceased, and secondly, the Will must have been created after 20 July 1998. Where probate has been granted for a pre 20 July 1998 Will, there are a number of other persons who are permitted to request to inspect and make copies of the will of a deceased person.

If you think that you are a beneficiary of a Will, or if you are an executor and want to know who you are required to give a copy of the Will to, contact Duffy & Simon.

What is an Executor?

An executor named in a Will acts as the trustee of the property contained in the deceased person’s estate.

The role of the executor commenced upon the death of the Will maker, and will continue until the administration of the estate of the deceased person has been undertaken either in accordance with the Will, or in accordance with an order of the court.

It is important to understand your rights and obligations as an executor, including the limitations of your role and the steps required to be taken by you both at law and pursuant to the Will.

Duffy & Simon advise and guide executors in their role, and can assist you in this process.

There is a Will, but it is not signed - Does it Matter?

There are certain circumstances where a Will that has not been witnessed properly will be upheld by the Court. Also, there are certain circumstances where the wishes of the person will be taken to represent their last Will.


It is important that all relevant information and evidence is obtained prior to seeking to uphold an informal will. This will include any evidence from third party sources, such as witnesses to the person talking about their wishes, as well as any details provided to a lawyer or medical practitioner.

There are a number of hurdles that must be addressed and overcome in order to uphold an informal will. Duffy & Simon is able to provide you with the advice and guidance you need, to assist you in identifying the binding nature of any last wishes that have been recorded by a loved one.

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