Deceased Estates in Victoria

When someone passes away, their assets and possessions need to be distributed in accordance with that individual’s wishes, which in most cases are contained in a Will. Under the will, the executor is required to administer the estate and obtain a grant of probate from the Supreme Court of Victoria. If there is no will, the next of kin of the deceased will need to apply for a grant of letters of administration from the Supreme Court of Victoria.


If there is no Will then the Administration and Probate Act (being an Act of the State Government) sets down a series of priorities with respect to the distribution of a deceased’s estate. The views of the Government very rarely coincide with the individual needs, wishes or desires of a particular member of the community.


If somebody dies and is married but has no children, the surviving spouse will receive the whole of the property.


If you are married with surviving children, who are not the children of your spouse, and you die without leaving a Will, your spouse or domestic partner will receive want is called a “statutory legacy”. At the present time, the statutory legacy is $451,909.00. In addition to the statutory legacy, the spouse or domestic partner will receive 50% of the residue with the remaining 50% going to the children.

Obtaining a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration is a complex legal process which involves:

  • Identifying and collecting all the assets of the deceased
  • Identifying and paying all of the liabilities of the deceased
  • Selling any assets such as shares, or more commonly, Real Estate
  • Distributing the remaining assets amongst the beneficiaries of the estate


Estate matters at Prior Law are completed by the lawyers in the Wills and Estates team, which is overseen by Rosemary Prior, Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estates, Partner:


Rosemary Prior

Jim McCarthy

John Byrne

Caitlyn Petrie

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    701 Centre Road, East Bentleigh VIC 3165
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    PO Box 219, Bentleigh VIC 3204
    DX 37504, Bentleigh VIC
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