How to deal with stepson’s query relating to late father’s will

Jane is the administrator of her husband’s will and asks Rod Cunich for guidance.

How to deal with stepson’s query

Jane is the administrator of her husband’s will and a stepson has queried part of the process. She asks estate planning lawyer Rod Cunich for guidance.


Q. Jane*
As the administrator at the time of my husband’s death in July 2017, I had to get a sworn valuation of the property, which I did. This came back lower than my stepson expected. He is in the real estate business, which I feel is a conflict of interest as he deals with real estate agencies nationally and internationally. By law, do I have to get another sworn valuation and if so, how do they go back over 12 months? The property has increased in value quite substantially – I know by my rates valuation. Is the sworn valuation I received enough?

A. There is no rule that specifies if one or more valuations are required, nor the type of valuation that is required. As the administrator of the deceased’s estate, you control it and you can make the decision about the adequacy of the valuation.

If you believe the valuation you obtained reflects the true and reasonable value of the property, you can accept it and proceed to administer the estate.

If anyone disagrees, they can formally challenge you through the courts. Sitting around debating the merits of any particular valuation is a waste of time and causes unnecessary stress.

If, on the other hand, you are unsure of the valuation you obtained, then get a second valuation from a licensed valuer with a good reputation. A good valuer can value a property at a date in the past by reference to comparable sales at that time.

*Jane is not her real name.

Rod Cunich is a lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, email it to

To make the most of your money in retirement, first you need to know the rules. The RetirePlanner™ tool has all the information you


     This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature. Seek legal advice before acting on this information.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    Karl Marx
    4th Dec 2018
    Just get a second professional evaluation done but not by anyone the stepson recommends. That way no conflict of interest by either party.
    As the administrator you have the power over the will.
    Remember anyone can formally challenge a will through the courts not just family.
    4th Dec 2018
    Bad idea

    4th Dec 2018
    Looks like stepson wants more money

    Get another independent valuation from a reputable valued
    Karl Marx
    4th Dec 2018
    Isn't that what I said or are just contradicting yourself. Wouldn't be the first time
    4th Dec 2018
    I don't read your comments . Labor propaganda usually
    Karl Marx
    4th Dec 2018
    so you comment on my post without reading it, what a stupid sod you are. & I don't vote Labor or LNP for that matter ROFL they're last on my ballot paper
    4th Dec 2018
    I always advised my clients to get 3 appraisals, valuations will come in lower than the market dictates.

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