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What is Probate?

What is a Grant of Probate?

Probate is the proving of a Will in the Supreme Court of the appropriate State or Territory. It is the process by which the Court determines if the Will is valid.

The Grant of Probate is the certificate issued by the Supreme Court which names the Executor and confirms that the Will is the last known Will of the deceased.

Once Probate is issued the Executor (also known as the Legal Personal Representative) has the authority to administer the assets of the deceased’s estate as directed in the Will.

What is a Grant of Letters of Administration?

If the deceased did not leave a valid Will or left no Will at all, they are said to have died ‘intestate’.

In this case, an Administrator can be appointed by the Supreme Court of the appropriate State or Territory to manage the estate. The Court has rulings on who should be appointed as the Administrator.

When an Administrator is appointed the document issued by the Court is called Letters of Administration.

The Administrator named in the Letters of Administration is the Legal Personal Representative of the deceased’s estate and has the authority to administer the assets of the deceased’s estate.

Do I have to get a Grant?

The circumstances of each estate vary greatly and a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration may not always be required.

Example circumstances of when a Grant will be required are:

  1. If the deceased held real estate in their sole name;
  2. If the asset holders (e.g. bank, financial institution, superannuation fund) require a Legal Personal Representative of the estate to authorise the release of the funds held by them. Each asset holder will have a different threshold value that will determine whether a Grant will be required.
  3. Where there are assets held interstate

Where can I get more information?

Duffy Elliott Lawyers have been assisting Executors with estate administration since the opening of the firm in 1894. Our professional team can deliver legal advice in all aspects of this increasingly complex area.

Please contact Duffy Elliott Lawyers to arrange an appointment to discuss the implications of obtaining a Grant and whether it will be required in a deceased estate.