What is Probate?
Probate is an official court document which is issued by the Supreme Court where the court is satisfied that a will is the last valid will of the deceased person.
Who can apply for Probate?
An application for Probate is usually made to the court by the executor or executors who are named in the deceased person’s last will.
When is Probate required?
Probate is often required by financial institutions who hold assets on behalf of the deceased person. The financial institutions set thresholds above which they will require a grant of Probate to be produced prior to releasing assets. Thresholds vary from institution to institution but can be as low as $15,000.
How do I apply for Letters of Probate?
An application for Probate is made to the Supreme Court of Queensland.
It is a formal process and there are precise steps that need to be followed and a number of time frames to be mindful of. The process generally involves:
- A notice of your intention to apply being published in a local newspaper (such as the Courier Mail) and the Queensland Law Reporter;
- Providing the Public Trustee of Queensland with the notice outlining your intention to apply for a Grant; and
- Filing documents in the Supreme Court, including the application, affidavits, original Will (if any) and the death certificate.
Once the application has been filed, the Supreme Court will examine it and if there are any matters which require further explanation, a requisition will be issued outlining what needs to be provided.
Once the Supreme Court is satisfied with the application, Probate will be granted and the estate can be administered.
How much does it cost?
A filing fee is charged by the Court to lodge the application for Probate. This can and does increase over time.
As you must also advertise in various publications, the costs can vary depending on the number of characters required in the advertisement.
As these costs are likely to change over time, always check the current fees and costs with the Court and relevant organisations before arranging payment.
Do I have to pay for the legal fees?
If you engage a lawyer to do the work, and you are appointed, generally you will be entitled to a reimbursement from the estate to cover the legal costs and the outlays (including advertising costs) when the estate assets have been made available.
How long does it take to get Probate?
The processing time is approximately 10 business days but this depends on whether the Court requires any further information. From our experience, we have found that the processing time can vary and some applications can take 4 to 6 weeks depending on how complex the matter is.
If you have any further questions about Probate, please contact our team at CRH Law.