What is a Grant of Probate?
What is a Grant of Probate?
If a person has passed away and has left a Will in Victoria, the executor(s) named in the Will may make an application to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate.
A Grant of Probate is an Order from the Court that proves that the Will is valid and that gives the executor(s) the authority to act in accordance with a Will i.e. to collect in the assets of the Estate, pay the liabilities of the Estate and to distribute the Estate to the named beneficiaries.
If the deceased did not leave a valid Will prior to passing, his/her next-of-kin would apply for “Letters of Administration”, which is an Order from the Court that gives the Administrator (the person applying) the authority to collect in the assets of the Estate, pay the liabilities of the Estate and to distribute the Estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with Part IA of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic).
Is Probate necessary?
It depends on what assets form part of the estate.
All jointly owned assets, such as real property held in joint names as joint tenants, joint bank accounts, jointly-owned shares etc. will be passed to the surviving joint owner by way of survivorship laws. There is no need to apply for Probate if all the assets in an estate are jointly owned.
If the estate is small, there may not be a need to apply for Probate. Some banks only require a Grant of Probate if the balance of the deceased’s accounts amount to more than $50,000 (each bank has a different threshold).
If real property is part of the estate and the real property is held as tenants in common or held as sole proprietor, then a Grant of Probate is necessary for the executor to be able to sell or transfer the property.
If a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) has been paid to a nursing home by way of a bond, then the nursing home will require a certified copy of the Grant of Probate prior to releasing the RAD and other funds due to the estate (if any).
How do I apply for Probate?
You may download the relevant Court documents from the Supreme Court website, complete them and file them at the Supreme Court Victoria with the relevant annexures. Most importantly, you will need to send the Supreme Court the original Will of the deceased.
How can we help?
Many people appoint their family members or friends as executors. At a time when you are grieving from the loss of a loved one, the last thing you would want to do is to deal with the hassle of paperwork, dealing with the Court and dealing with institutions such as the banks, nursing homes and other companies.
Let us do the heavy lifting - make the application for Probate, advertise for creditors and distribute the estate in accordance with the Will. We will help you from start to finish and answer all your queries so that the process will be much less daunting for you.
Call us at 9555 7233 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for support during this difficult time.
This article provides information that is general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice.