Being an executor

Small estates of less than $20,000

When a person dies and leaves an estate that is less than $20,000 in value, whether there is a will or not, you may be able to take control of the estate yourself without asking the Supreme Court for a grant of representation. 

This can save time and money.

You can also take control of a small estate with a grant of representation.

Read more about grants of representation and taking control of an estate.

Example of a wife administering a small estate of her husband

The husband has a will and leaves his wife all of his estate. 

The estate consists of:

  • a bank account
  • some personal effects
  • a car.

The wife will need to do all of the following:

  • arrange the funeral and burial or cremation - any funds in the husband’s bank account can be used to pay for his funeral
  • apply for a death certificate, although this is usually done by the funeral company
  • tell government authorities such as Medicare, the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink
  • tell pension companies
  • pay any debts
  • arrange for the car to be transferred into her name
  • talk to the bank about closing his account
  • re-arrange insurance policies
  • tell the landlord or housing department about change in tenancy agreement if their property is rented
  • transfer any jointly owned property into her name by filling out a transfer form with the Land Titles Office.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017