What is Probate?
Probate is simply the process of having a Court validate a Will. Once the Court grants the validation of the Will, the executor appointed in the Will can deal with the assets and liabilities of the deceased estate.
The NSW Supreme Court has the jurisdiction, within its equity division, to grant probate.
What is involved in applying for Probate?
There are generally three (3) distinct steps in applying for Probate.
The first step involves collecting all the information about the deceased assets and liabilities, including:
- What property did the deceased own and whether the property was owned jointly with others or owned through a trust or a company.
- The value and location of such property.
- The requirements of banks, share registries, insurance and superannuation companies.
- Whether the deceased was involved in any Court litigation or proceedings before their death, the estate may continue.
Once this information is collected and compiled, an application for grant of probate must be made to the NSW Supreme Court. The application is usually dealt with administratively, so no appearance in court is required. Generally, the Registrar of the Court has the power and authority to deal with granting of probate.
Once probate is granted the next step is the administration of the estate. This involves collecting all the assets, paying all the debts and then distributing assets to the beneficiaries by the nominated executor. The administration's timing depends on the number of assets and the complexity of the assets in the estate.
What happens if someone dies without a Will?
Where a person dies without a legal Will, the law will decide to whom the estate should be distributed. In such circumstances, letters of administration on intestacy need to be obtained from the NSW Supreme Court, which will provide for the assets and liabilities of the estate to be dealt with.
Letters of administration authorise a person (called an administrator) to administer the deceased estate and distribute the assets.
From our experience, every estate is unique and therefore, we can advise you on the appropriateness of applying for probate according to your individual circumstances.
How can I get help with Probate?
At Fourtree Lawyers, we can advise and assist you in the following ways to make this challenging time of your life easier for you and your family:
- Advise and assist you in getting a grant of probate;
- Ensure that each step of the process is fully explained to you and minimised as far as possible;
- Take the pain and burden of dealing with everyday complexities from administrating an estate away from your grieving family;
- If disputes arise between your family members in relation to the estate, we have a dedicated team of experts who will assist the executors defend vigorously any challenge to the Will and or the estate;
We are here to help
Our solicitors specialise in Wills & Estates matters throughout the Central Coast, the Hunter Region and Sydney. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the process from beginning to end to ensure your peace of mind.
If you would like assistance with your Wills & Estates Planning or wish to discuss a matter of concern to you, contact one of our Wills & Estates specialists on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week
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