Andrew Assim died suddenly on 12 March 2015 without executing a will. He was the sole director and shareholder of three proprietary companies, including Elizabeth Bay Real Estate Pty Limited. The deceased was licensed to conduct this real estate business, which managed rental properties for clients and collected rent on behalf of owners of those properties; importantly he was the sole signatory on the trust account of the real estate business.
Rent money is received monthly into the business trust account. After the deduction of the management fees the business ordinarily pays out the net rental to clients at the end of each month. The immediate problem was that there was no signatory to the trust account of the business to enable these monies to be paid out. Since the deceased’s death Mr Tayfun Demirezen, an employee of the business and a licensed real estate agent, had been managing the rent roll.
The plaintiffs, Ayleen and Elise Assim, the only daughters of Andrew Assim, urgently petitioned the Court on March 27 2015. They sought appointment as administrators of their father’s estate. His daughters were concerned that the goodwill of the business would be seriously damaged unless they were appointed administrators. As administrators the Daughters could appoint a director to Elizabeth Bay Real Estate, who could authorise a person to operate the trust account enabling monies to be paid out at the end of the month.
It is a legal requirement that the signatory to a trust account must be a licensed real estate agent. As neither of his daughters had a real estate agent’s licence they sought upon their appointment as administrators to appoint directors to the real estate business who would appoint Mr Demirezen as a signatory on the trust account and have him conduct the day-to-day affairs of the real estate business
The Court found that Ayleen and Elise Assim sufficiently demonstrated that their father died intestate, and that they should be appointed administrators. As the purpose of this proposed appointment was principally to preserve the value of the real estate business from the damage that would flow from an inability to operate the trust account, the court limited the appointment in order to achieve that objective.