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My wife's mother, an Australian citizen, died intestate in…

My wife's mother, an...

My wife's mother, an Australian citizen, died intestate in Melbourne, November 2017. My wife's father died in 1997 and my wife is an only child. There are some assets in Melbourne and significant assets here in the US. My wife is an American citizen. We are at a loss of how to proceed.

Lawyer's Assistant: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?

We are in Virginia.

Lawyer's Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?

Her father's death certificate, her mother's death certificate, the copy of a ruling that my mother-in-law has been suffering dementia for the past 10 years (VCAT) and has been in a Regis facility. We have a VCAT ABA which appears to date from 2016.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My wife's 2 cousins, Australian citizens, were appointed joint administrators in 2010 but one of them died several years ago.

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Answered in 3 hours by:
3/28/2018
Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 46,892
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
Verified

Hi, I am Leon, a NSW Solicitor. I am reviewing your question and will reply again in a moment.

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Good Morning

Does she know who what the 2 cousins have done with the Australian Assets?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The remaining cousin lives in Melbourne and she told us that, upon the death of my wife's mother, she no longer serves as administrator. The Australian checking account is where it was (ANZ). My mother-in-laws Bank of America checking and savings accounts were closed February, 2018, because there was no response from the address the bank had. There are apparently some stocks that were turned over to the state of California.

Good Morning

Do you know who the solicitor was that acted for the estate in Melbourne?

They would have finished the estate.

Your wife would have been entitled to everything being the only child.

For the US assets that would have been dealt with in the US it cannot be done from australia

Your wife would have to see a lawyer in the US for the assets in the US.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
There was an attorney named Steven Shipp who represented the cousins in the VCAT hearing re: guardianship, etc. The Order Summary of the VCAT (10-Feb-2010) reads: "The Tribunal appoints the Public Advocate as guardian with powers limited to make decisions concerning accommodation and access to services."
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Incidentally, B of A here says that, if an Australian court should formally determine that my wife is the sole heir and beneficiary, they would transfer the funds to her.

Good Morning

That order lapsed when your mother in law passed away

The cousins applied to the supreme court to be appointed administrators. They then had the power to deal with her estate.

You should contact the Supreme COurt of Victoria and get an exemplification of the Letters of Administration.

https://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/

The court would have made that decision.

You have to get the Letters of Administration and see what they did and you can ask if they had a solicitor acting and their details.

I suspect they may have mismanaged the estate and taken the assets if your wife was not given anything.

But the Supreme Court deals with Letters of Administration and your wife should have been then only beneficiary.

If you wish to have a phone call to discuss this in more detail please elect a call or I can send you a request.

I hope this makes sense and is of assistance. If you have found my answer to be helpful, please rate me five stars so I can get paid for my services to you. You rating my work 5 stars allows me to continue to provide a service to those who require it.

I am happy for you to ask further questions on anything you wish more detail on.

Let me know if I have answered your question today.

Regards

Leon

Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 46,892
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Leon,
Will you kindly send me a request?
I don't think the cousin has any authority and she says she's sent every relevant document she has in her possession, all of which are dated. Let me put it this way, I hope she has no authority because, if she does, she has not been forthcoming. I'll assume the best for now.
If we need to get an Australian solicitor, can you recommend one in Melbourne?
Thanks and 5 stars.

Good Morning

I am nit sure what you mean by a request.

If they are appointed as administrators that gives them the authority.

The law insititute of victoria will refer you to a solicitor that practices in estate law.

Their website is as follows

https://www.liv.asn.au/

Your first step is to contact the Supreme court to get a copy of the Letters of Administration to see what has been done.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I see above that when you said above "... or I can send you a request," you meant a Supreme Court request form. Thanks, Leon.

If you want a phone call I can send you a request for a call.

Here is where you can search and then proceed to apply fo the copy

https://www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au/forms-fees-and-services/wills-and-probate/searching-probate-records

All the best and good luck

Regards

Leon

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