When someone dies, a doctor will issue the Medical Certificate Cause of Death. Once that certificate is registered with NSW Births Deaths & Marriages, they will issue a Death Certificate to the next of kin. If you are next of kin or the Executor, you have a few important responsibilities. You will be responsible for making funeral arrangements and finalizing the Estate.
After the funeral, the executor or next of kin will need to work out whether it is necessary to apply to the NSW Supreme Court for probate or letters of administration. To do this they will need to gather details of the deceased’s estate, including their assets (property and money) and debts. If the deceased did not have a will they ‘died intestate’. As the next of kin, relative or close friend of the deceased, you may need to apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for letters of administration to distribute the deceased’s estate. These applications should be made within six months.
You should seek legal advice at this time. There are some agencies who will offer to obtain Probate or Letters of Administration for you, but you should ensure that they do not charge a percentage of the Estate balance as this could be a substantial sum. Most solicitors charge a standard rate set by statute so make sure you ask about the fees and charges before you proceed.