Generally, the Supreme Court of New South Wales will not grant probate or letters of administration to an applicant living outside of Australia.
Section 72 of the Probate and Administration Act 1898 (NSW) allows administration to be granted to an attorney in certain cases so that where any person named as executor or any spouse or next of kin entitled to apply for a grant of probate or letters of administration is out of the jurisdiction or interestingly is engaged on war service that person can appoint some other person within the jurisdiction under a power of attorney to act for the person in which case the court may grant administration to that attorney but on such terms and conditions as the court considers fit. The grant is made on behalf of the person entitled.
The grant of administration under Section 72 continues in force notwithstanding the death of the donor of the power unless it is a term and condition that it does not.
If you live outside of Australia and are appointed as executor under a will or are the next of kin of someone who died intestate you may consider renouncing your position as executor or arranging for another family member who lives in Australia to apply for letters of administration. Alternatively, you will need to appoint someone under a power of attorney to apply for a grant of probate or letters of administration on your behalf.
To speak with an experienced estate lawyer about applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration or any other estate matter call us on 02 8268 4000.