Probate is the process where the courts validate and register a will. Usually the executor (or their lawyer) applies for a grant of Probate from the Supreme Court. A grant of Probate is needed before the executor is able to deal with the assets and liabilities, as it allows them to prove their authority to deal with the estate.
Depending on the estate in question, in Queensland you may not need to obtain a grant of Probate. You won’t require Probate to deal with real property (houses and land), however, you should check that no other department or organisation requires a grant of Probate before you finalise any property transfer.
You will normally require Probate if you are dealing with larger sums of money in a bank or with shareholdings, as the organisations holding these will require proof of the executor’s authority.
As a guide Probate will generally be required if there is more than $50,000 in the deceased’s bank accounts, or if they have over $15,000 in a particular shareholding. However, these are not absolute rules and you should always check if you are going to require a grant of Probate. A lawyer will be able to tell you this.
In order to obtain a grant of Probate you must do the following:
After you have obtained a grant of Probate you will be able to undertake the actions required to administer the estate.
An application for Probate must be filed within six months of the death.
If someone dies without a will, instead of obtaining a grant of Probate you will need to obtain Letters of Administration from the Supreme Court. You can find out more about that here. [link]
To find out more about what is involved in applying for Probate or for assistance in administering an estate, contact our office on (07) 3343 9522 or (07) 5446 1745 or through our contact us service here.