At Estate First, we are expert estate and probate lawyers, who can help you obtain probate and assist you with all other aspects of the estate administration process.
What is a Grant of Probate?
When a loved one dies and you have been appointed as the executor of their Last Will and Testament, you may need to apply for a grant of probate, more simply known as probate, of that Will.
Probate is the process of registering and proving the last Will of the deceased person to the Supreme Court. Once you have completed the registration process, a document is issued by the Supreme Court that certifies the Court’s recognition that the deceased’s person’s Will is their legally valid and last Will. It also authorises the appointed executor to deal with the estate.
Benefits of obtaining a Grant of Probate
The process of administering an estate and obtaining probate at the very time that you are still coping with the loss of a loved one can feel overwhelming. However, probate is required by an increasing number of institutions (including banks and share registries) before they will release a deceased person’s assets. Obtaining probate simplifies the process of dealing with institutions as they will require far less paperwork from you to release the assets they hold. Not only can probate speed up administration of the estate, but it can also reduce the personal risk of an executor. Acting as executor is a serious responsibility and it’s important to get it right and in a timely manner.
The Court Process
The requirements of the Court when making an application for probate are strict. You can delay the whole process if you miss any item on the court documents or apply for the wrong type of grant. It’s important to get this foundational task of estate administration right so that you don’t delay the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. That’s why it’s often best to bring in professionals to help you in the process – we assist in winding up estates every day so we know what we’re doing, whereas (hopefully) you will only be faced with this situation once.
Trust the Probate professionals
If you’re looking for a ‘probate lawyer near me’, our team of experts at Estate First have the experience and depth of knowledge to provide you with comprehensive estate planning and administration services. At our initial meeting with you, one of our expert wills and probate lawyers will provide you with a fixed fee for obtaining probate, along with a written quote for any other work required to finalise the estate. We assist clients in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria with all their deceased estate administration and probate needs.
Get in contact with our expert wills and probate lawyers today
To find out more about the services we offer, give us a call for a free quote — we only bill after an in-depth consultation. Our 1.5 hours initial consultation is charged as a fixed fee of $295 and if you choose to proceed with our services, the consultation fee is absorbed into the overall price. Get in contact with us today to discuss our probate and estate administration services.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a ‘Grant of Probate’?
Probate, more formally known as a Grant of Probate, is a document issued by the Supreme Court which provides the Court’s recognition that a deceased’s person’s Will is the legally valid last Will and Testament of the deceased and the appointed executor is authorised to deal with the estate.
Do I need a Grant of Probate?
This will depend on a few factors. For example, jointly held cash and property held as joint tenants does not need a Grant of Probate. However, a number of institutions (including banks and share registries) may not release assets of the estate to the executor without a Grant of Probate (read more about collecting assets and paying bills here). In some States, you need a Grant of Probate before you can transfer land/real property (other than property held as joint tenants).
Sometimes the paperwork required by an institution without producing a Grant of Probate is onerous and outweighs the cost of obtaining a Grant.
Also, as an executor, regardless of the estate asset position, you should take the time and receive appropriate advice from a wills and probate lawyer regarding the particular estate you are administering, so you can seriously consider whether as an executor you want or need the personal protection that a Grant of Probate affords to you. At Estate First, we are expert probate lawyers and we can provide this advice to you during your initial meeting.
When is probate not required?
Probate is not required if:
- you are dealing with jointly held assets or property held as joint tenants
- you are dealing with superannuation (including life insurance) where the deceased made a valid binding death benefit nomination
- assets of the estate are of a significantly low value
- there is no Will – you will then need to apply for Letters of Administration
- there is no executor appointed in the Will or able to act. You will then need to apply for Letters of Administration with the Will annexed.
In these circumstances, other steps to administer an estate will need to be taken (e.g. arranging transfers of joint assets to the surviving joint owner, making a superannuation death benefit claim, obtaining a Grant of Letters of Administration and so on).
How do I obtain a Grant of Probate?
It is a legal process and requires an application to court along with supporting documentation, including the Will and death certificate. We recommend that all executors obtain legal advice from a Wills and Probate lawyer prior to submitting any court documents. At Estate First lawyers, we provide this advice during our initial meeting with you to discuss your options.
Costs for obtaining probate will be quoted and provided as a fixed fee during your initial consultation with us.
How long does it take to get a Grant of Probate?
Generally, obtaining a Grant of Probate normally takes between six (6) to ten (10) weeks from the commencement of the process. The process involves placing an advertisement and service of a notice of your intention to apply in the prescribed publication for your state and then waiting up to 14 days before filing your application in the Court registry.
The timing then largely depends on the volume of applications at the Supreme Court in your state. If there is an urgency to obtaining the Grant of Probate, then in certain circumstances an urgent application can be made to the Court by your probate solicitor.
"Wonderful to work with and very understanding in a difficult time for our family. I couldn’t recommend them more highly."
"Thank you for your ongoing patience and compassion during, what has been, a very difficult period. It is so greatly appreciated."
"Thank you for your efficient administration of the estate."