Administering an estate during the Covid-19 pandemic

The death of a close one or a relative can be harrowing for everyone involved and it may take some time to recover from the loss. Moreover, the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic may add additional stress and agony through this tough time. Deceased estate lawyers Adelaide from Evans Testa Barristers and Solicitors are keeping abreast of developments to ensure that the process goes smooth even during this torment period.

This Covid-19 pandemic can affect executors and heirs of a deceased’s estate in various ways.

·        Making funeral arrangements: To curb the spread of the virus, the government has restricted the number of attendees to the funeral. At present, the Australian government has allowed only 50 people to attend a funeral keeping social distancing norms and conditions.

·        Travel restrictions

·        In-person meetings are reduced.

·        Access to the estate assets (especially if executors are interstate)

Can you still administer an estate during the Covid-19 pandemic?

It is astonishing news that you can still accomplish your legal responsibilities as an executor despite restrictions enforced by the government during this Covid-19 pandemic.

An executor should perform his/her duties irrespective of restrictions currently in place. An executor should have adequate knowledge and must know his/her responsibilities to ensure the estate is properly administered.

Though an executor may face practical difficulties while dealing with the estate administration, still, most institutions have adopted the changes to cope up with the present scenario.

All executors should be cautious as they are trying to manage a deceased’s estate during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, an executor may consult with an experienced and deft deceased estate lawyer Adelaide.

Estate distribution

Legatees who are going through financial difficulty during the COVID-19 pandemic may ask for early distributions of the estate. Executors need to satisfy all the deceased’s debts and they should know the risks of early distribution.

Distributing assets early may cause severe problems as you can’t comfortably track who has received what and how the remaining amounts will impact others. An executor may become personally accountable if an estate has been distributed very early among beneficiaries.

Obtaining a grant of presentation

If needed, an executor should get a grant of probate or letters of administration. The Supreme Court Register is also granting applications even in this Covid-19 pandemic. By receiving a grant earlier than later, may avoid resentful heirs eager to receive their privilege. During this Covid-19 pandemic, the government has requested people stay home and socially isolate themselves.

An executor needs to make arrangements to circulate original application documents among several parties for their signature (especially if appointed executors are interstate). This may take a lot of time to process such applications, especially postal delays due to the present Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Addressing claims being made against the estate

An executor often receives a claim against the estate by a beneficiary who has been exempted from the will or is not satisfied with his/her entitlement under the will. During this Covid-19 pandemic, many people have faced a lot of financial difficulties. As a result, this rise of claims against a deceased estate will continue. Though an executor may put his/her best effort to administer the estate, still, beneficiaries may criticise how an estate has been administered. If there is an issue, an executor should handle it immediately to avoid any misinterpretations. If an executor is unable to give a response or doesn’t know how to deal with the situation, he must seek professional assistance from a deceased estate lawyer Adelaide.

Take a professional advice

During this present pandemic climate, executors must know how the deceased’s estate assets should be dealt with so that no one gets dissatisfied with his/her entitlement. That’s why an executor may need professional advice from an estate lawyer to preserve the overall value of the estate. If an executor is unaware of his responsibilities, the person should ask advice from an estate lawyer immediately.

If you are facing problems in handling an estate, you should get in touch with Evans Testa Barristers and Solicitors. Evans Testa Barristers and Solicitors is an established law firm in Adelaide that offers divorce lawyers, deceased estate lawyers Adelaide, criminal lawyers, defence lawyers, personal injury lawyers, and many more. Our lawyers will give you the best advice and guidance so that you can administer an estate properly even in this Covid-19 pandemic.

To know more about the firm, please visit the official website of Evans Testa Barristers and Solicitors.

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