The Ultimate Guide
When someone passes away, they may leave behind certain assets, property and, on occasion, debt. These are collectively known as the person’s estate and must be managed and finalised appropriately.
Finalising a deceased person’s affairs usually involves:
- collecting all assets
- paying any debts
- distributing the assets to the persons entitled
When there is a valid Will, the estate can be finalised by the executor(s) – this often starts with applying for Probate. When there is no valid Will, the deceased’s closest next-of-kin can finalise the estate, which may involve applying for Letters of Administration.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal process where the Supreme Court certifies that a Will is valid, can be acted upon, and that the executor(s) named in the Will are authorised to finalise the estate.
Why you don’t need a Probate Lawyer
We’ve put together our top 5 reasons why you don’t need a Probate Lawyer to apply for a Grant of Probate and finalise the estate of a loved one.
1 There are many ways to apply for Probate
To obtain Probate the executor(s) named in the Will must apply to the Supreme Court and, if successful, will receive a Grant of Probate. Ordinarily, people use a Probate Lawyer to apply for Probate on their behalf. However, many people don’t realise this isn’t the only way you can apply.
There are four main ways to apply for a Grant of Probate:
- Prepare the application yourself
- Engage Probate Consultants to assist with your application
- Instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf
- Authorise a Trustee Company to act as the executor
There are pros and cons to each option and finding the best way to apply is an important decision for executors.
2 You don’t need legal advice to apply for Probate
Most people think you need legal advice to apply for Probate. This isn’t the case.
In fact, you can apply for Probate yourself without engaging a Probate Lawyer. This is because Probate is essentially a procedural task completed according to strict legal requirements and court processes.
Probate Lawyers are a great option where the deceased estate is complex, or there are complications, including potential challenges to the Will. The good news is that few applications are complex and require legal advice.
For most executors, the Probate application will be straightforward and the estate easy to administer. The challenging part of applying for Probate is managing the complicated forms, filling them out correctly and complying with the Supreme Court’s strict procedural requirements. At Probate Consultants, we do all of the tricky paperwork and processes for you, without providing the legal advice that, in many instances, you do not need.
We have a straightforward, streamlined process that makes the experience of obtaining Probate easy and efficient. We consult you throughout the application process, rather than acting on your behalf and providing legal advice. We also provide free guidance when it comes to administering the estate.
In contrast, by acting for you and providing legal advice, Probate Lawyers have to comply with strict rules and regulations. This creates a lot of red tape which is time consuming and costly.
To find out if your application for Probate is straightforward or whether it may require legal advice, contact us for a Free Consultation – No timers, No obligations.
3 Same legal outcome
Being an executor is a multi-faceted role involving a variety of different tasks and responsibilities. The needs of every executor are different and the level of support you need to perform your duties depends upon a number of factors including:
- The nature and complexity of the deceased estate
- Commercial and legal understanding
- Spare time
The one constant is that a Grant of Probate is a Grant of Probate, no matter how you apply or who assists you. All Grants of Probate are equal and perform the same basic function – providing executors with the legal authority to deal with a deceased person’s estate.
When it comes to applying for Probate, it is important to choose the best option for you as well as the beneficiaries. If there are multiple executors, it is crucial that you are all on the same page and everyone feels comfortable with the decision being made. Ultimately a successful Probate application results in a Grant of Probate being issued by the Supreme Court. This is the same legal document whether you apply yourself, a Probate Lawyer acts for you, or you engage Probate Consultants.
Whilst the legal outcome is the same, the key is ensuring that the Probate application is successful the first time. If not, this can significantly delay the granting of Probate and your ability to move forward with the estate administration. Whilst there are many firms and companies offering Probate services, not all are experts with a 100% success rate.
At Probate Consultants, we specialise exclusively in applications for Probate and Letters of Administration – it is all we do. We ensure applications are granted the first time and guarantee the fastest approval times in the industry. This is why we are the highest rated Probate service in Australia with a 100% success rate.
Read our article “Why choose Probate Consultants instead of Probate Lawyers” for more information about why we are the best option for many executors needing Probate.
4 Probate lawyers are expensive
Probate Lawyers are often expensive and don’t provide a fixed, all-inclusive quote for their services. This creates uncertainty as to what the final bill will be and what extra charges may be incurred.
Because Probate Consultants don’t offer legal advice when you apply for Probate, we can operate as a consultancy rather than a legal practice. This means you get the same legal outcome and expertise as using a Probate Lawyer, but without the expensive legal fees.
We also offer Free Consultations and all-inclusive quotes, which include:
- Our Fixed-Fee: $995 + GST
- Advertisement Fee (VIC, NSW, QLD, ACT)
- Supreme Court Filing Fee
Probate Lawyers may charge extra fees when applications are requisitioned by the Court. A requisition is raised when the Court has questions about the application and more information is required – often by way of Affidavit evidence. Although it can take time and extra work, we never charge extra to answer requisitions.
We pride ourselves on transparency when it comes to the costs involved in applying for Probate. With Probate Consultants, you will always know your total out-of-pocket cost from the beginning. No hidden fees, No surprises.
5 You can administer the deceased estate yourself
Executors are responsible for managing and finalising a deceased person’s estate. Applying for Probate is an important step in the process, but it is just the beginning.
The main job for executors is to ensure that all assets are collected, any debts are paid, and the beneficiaries receive their inheritance – what we like to call their final gift. This process is called administering the deceased estate.
Most people don’t realise it is faster and often easier to administer the deceased estate yourself, rather than having a Lawyer do it on your behalf. It is also much cheaper, as Probate Lawyers charge significant fees for this service – fees that are additional to those for the Probate application.
Whilst Probate Consultants can’t provide you with any legal, financial or taxation advice, we are happy to give you the best tips and tricks to make the estate administration easy and efficient. Our clients love that they have unlimited support and guidance when it comes to administering the deceased estate, and that it is completely free. Our focus on a complete, transparent, and personal client experience is one of the many reasons we have a 5-Star rating on Google and over 130 reviews.
Our Co-Founders have created a consultancy that revolutionises the way Australians apply for Probate and Letters of Administration. Probate Consultants offer an expert, personalised service that provides the same legal outcome as using a Probate Lawyer.
We’re proud of being the highest rated online Probate Service – with a 5-star Google rating from over 130 client reviews.
If you have any questions about applying for Probate or Letters of Administration, contact us today.