• What is probate and why do we need it?

What is probate and why do we need it?

When a deceased person holds cash or invested funds at a bank, or superannuation, or shares over $50,000 in value with the one institution (or even a large nursing/retirement home accommodation bond) a request for probate will be made by any one or all of those institutions to before the executor can claim the funds for the estate of the deceased person.

Probate is a Supreme Court decision which ‘proves’ the will of the deceased person; that is that the will is legally valid and the executors named in the will are the legally authorised to deal with the deceased’s estate.

To obtain Probate, an application is made by the executor/s to the Queensland Supreme Court, and this application is supported by an Affidavit and exhibits which are  the original death certificate and the original will. This application is usually prepared by a solicitor acting for the estate and the estimated cost for an uncomplicated Application for Probate is $3,200 to $4,000. Both the death certificate and the will are kept by the Court, and are not returned.

This process includes advertising in two publications, one the Queensland Law Reporter (published across Queensland’s legal practices), and the other a newspaper that is circulated in the district the deceased resided. This is done once, and usually includes a request for creditors to come forward. This sometimes produces a later Will, however, this is a rare occurrence.

Fourteen days after the advertising the application is lodged in the Supreme Court, and between 4 to 6 weeks later the court will approve the grant. If there are any irregularities in the will or the death certificate, the Court may require additional information, and this may delay the granting of the application.

When the Grant of Probate is received, certified copies presented to the asset holders will release the funds into the estate.

For more information, get in touch with BigLaw Solicitors on (07) 3482 6900 or email us at mail@biglaw.com.au.

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