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Obtaining letters of administration

The procedure for obtaining letters of administration is similar to that for obtaining a grant of probate.

Obtaining the grant now involves registering for (either personally or through a solicitor), and uploading information into CourtSA online. For more information see the Probate Rule, Form and Procedure Changes on the Courts Administration Authority website.

For estates where the deceased died on or after 26 June 2014, the documents to be uploaded to CourtSA include:

  • an administrator's oath
  • draft letters of administration

A statement of assets and liabilities will now be automatically generated by CourtSA.

For estates where the deceased died prior to 26 June 2014, in addition to the above documents, the following documents must also be lodged:

  • an administration bond. For estates where the deceased died prior to 26 June 2014, this is the major procedural difference between an application for probate and letters of administration. An applicant for letters of administration must, together with either two sureties (or guarantors) or an approved insurance company as guarantor, lodge a bond (or guarantee) that the administrator will do the work of administering the estate properly. If the applicant chooses private sureties, each surety must have assets in her or his name at least equal to the value of the estate. Where the proposed administrator is the spouse, only one surety is required. In some circumstances a special affidavit can be completed and a bond can be avoided altogether
  • an affidavit of justification of sureties (This is not required if there is an application to dispense with the bond, or where the surety is an insurance company. In this case, an affidavit in lieu of guarantee is needed.)

In both an application for letters of administration andletters of administration with the will annexed, it is possible to avoid filing the affidavit of justification of sureties and the surety's guarantee if there is an application to dispense with the guarantee.

Obtaining letters of administration  :  Last Revised: Tue Jan 7th 2020
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.