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Estate Administration Without a Will. A Case Study by Slater and Gordon Lawyers

08 October 2012

When our client died without leaving a Will we were approached to provide legal guidance on the administration of his estate.

Our client had lived with his partner for two years and had a child, aged 2, with her.  He also supported his partner’s daughter, aged 8.  

A few years previously, our client had divorced his ex-wife, leaving her with custody of their 4 year old child.

In the absence of a written Will, the law dictates that our client’s two minor children are entitled to his estate. Their respective mothers are entitled to represent the children and both have full rights to administer our deceased client’s estate.

However, because our client had financially maintained his partner and her eldest child, they sought legal advice to make a claim against our client’s estate as they had not received adequate financial provision.

Although presenting a common scenario, this case demonstrates the complexities arising in the absence of a written Will. We successfully negotiated a proposal to move the Estate Administration forward, with the agreement of all parties.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers were appointed to become the Personal Representatives of the estate to ensure that the estate was administered in a transparent fashion. This gave all parties the confidence to tackle the respective claims against the estate without having to be concerned or suspicious of the actions of the other parties.

As Personal Representatives, Slater and Gordon Lawyers will protect the best interests of the two minor children whilst being able to consider the statutory claims for financial maintenance in an independent manner.