WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR THINGS
WHEN YOU PASS AWAY?
When someone passes away, they often leave behind property, assets and sometimes debt. This is known as their ‘estate’ and it needs to be managed and finalised.
- Collecting all property and assets
- Paying any debts
- Distributing the assets according to the Will
Where there is a valid Will, the estate is finalised by the executor, or executors (where more than one is appointed). Often, this process begins with applying for Probate.
Where there is no valid Will, the deceased’s closest next-of-kin can finalise the estate. This process may involve applying for Letters of Administration.
- There is a valid Will
- Executor(s) named in the Will apply for the Grant
- Executor(s) administer and finalise the estate
- Property and Assets in the estate are distributed to those entitled under the Will
LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
- No valid Will
- Closest next-of-kin applies for the Grant
- Next-of-kin administers and finalises estate
- Property and Assets distributed according to the laws of intestacy
Probate is a legal process where the Supreme Court certifies that:
A Will is valid and can be acted upon
The executor(s) named in the Will have the authority to finalise the estate
The executor(s) named in a Will apply to the Supreme Court for Probate. If the application is successful, they receive a Grant of Probate.
A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued to the executor(s) of a valid Will. It is proof of their legal right to administer and finalise the deceased person’s estate (deceased estate).
You do not always need a Grant of Probate to finalise the estate of someone who has passed. It depends upon a number of factors including:
- The nature of the property in the estate
- How it was owned
- The policies of the institutions holding the property (banks, financial institutions and other organisations)
You need a Grant in the following situations:
- Seeking the refund of an Accommodation Bond (RAD) from an aged care facility
- Transferring title of real estate that was held solely by the deceased, or as tenants in common
- Accessing funds in a bank account over a certain value, usually $50,000.
In determining whether you need a Grant of Probate, you can:
- Contact the relevant institutions and ask whether they require a Grant in order for you to deal with the property
- If there are minimal assets, you may only need to produce a certified copy of the Will and death certificate
- Contact Probate Consultants for a Free Consultation regarding the estate.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A GRANT OF PROBATE
There are three ways to apply for a Grant of Probate:
- Instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf
- Authorise a Trustee Company to act as the executor or administrator
- Prepare the Application yourself (without a Solicitor)
OF VICTORIA WEBSITE
“Currently, about 95 percent of applications are filed by solicitors or Trustee Companies, but, in many instances, applying for a grant is often a straightforward procedure.”
You don’t need a solicitor to apply for Probate when the application is straightforward. And in many cases it is. The challenging part, however, is navigating the complicated forms, filling them out correctly and arranging all the necessary documents for lodgement.
That’s where we come in. Probate Consultants do the tricky paperwork and processes for you, without providing the legal advice that “in many instances” you do not need. This allows us to operate as a consultancy rather than a legal practice, which means we don’t charge expensive legal fees.
We provide the same legal outcome as a solicitor, but you pocket the savings.
HOW MUCH DOES PROBATE COST?
The cost involved in applying for a Grant of Probate depends on:
- How you decide to apply
- Yourself – with or without the help of Probate Consultants
- The total value of the estate (VIC & NSW)
If you were to apply yourself, without engaging a solicitor or using Probate Consultants, you would pay the following:
- Advertisement fee – $23.70
- Filing Fee (based on gross value of assets in Victoria)
- $62.20: Less than $500,000
- $333.20: More than $500,000 but less than $1,000,000
- $622.00: More than $1,000,000 but less than $2,000,000
- $1,362.50: More than $2,000,000 but less than $3,000,000
- $2,103.00: More than $3,000,000
- Advertisement fee – $48
- Filing Fee (based on gross value of assets in NSW)
- $0: Less than $100,000
- $772: More than $100,000 but less than $250,000
- $1,048: More than $250,000 but less than $500,000
- $1,607: More than $500,000 but less than $1,000,000
- $2,141: More than $1,000,000 but less than $2,000,000
- $3,568: More than $2,000,000 but less than $5,000,000
- $5,948: More than $5,000,000
- $370 – Fixed Filing Fee for all Estates
There is no standard cost that solicitors charge for preparing Probate applications. Fees vary from practitioner to practitioner and practice to practice.
When considering a price quote from a Solicitor, ensure the following has been included to avoid any surprises in the final bill:
- Costs & Disbursements
- Advertisement Fee
- Filing Fee
Often lawyers will provide a quote for their professional fee only, excluding any GST or the administrative costs involved.
This can add hundreds of dollars to the final bill.
Mary contacted Probate Consultants wanting a fee comparison. The solicitor who had prepared her late mother’s Will was going to charge 2% of the estate’s value to prepare the probate application.
The estate included a single asset – $400,000 in a bank account. Mary felt 2% sounded reasonable until we calculated the total out-of-pocket cost she way going to pay for the application.
- 2% x $400,000 = $8,000
- $8,000 x 1.1 (GST) =$8,800
COSTS & DISBURSEMENTS:
- Advertisement Fee = $23.70
- Filing Fee = $62.20
THE TOTAL COST TO MARY WOULD HAVE BEEN $8,885.90
WE SAVED MARY OVER $7,385.00 FOR THE SAME APPLICATION AND
SHE RECEIVED THE GRANT IN 22 DAYS.
Probate Consultants help you complete your application for Probate, making the process Fast, Affordable & Easy.
We provide a fixed quote that includes all fees and GST. You have complete certainty over the total out-of-pocket cost involved in obtaining Probate from the beginning. No surprises.
Our all-inclusive quote includes:
- Our fee
- Advertisement Fee (VIC & NSW)
- Filing Fee
- Paid to the Supreme Court when the Application is lodged
WHAT DO YOU NEED IN ORDER TO START A PROBATE APPLICATION?
The following documents are needed in order to apply for Probate:
- Valid Will
- Death Certificate
- Current documents relating to the deceased’s estate:
- Property & Assets
- Debts & Liabilities
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO OBTAIN A GRANT OF PROBATE?
Probate Consultants guarantee the fastest possible turn-around times for your application. These timeframes are longer than usual due to COVID-19.
Most Grants are received within 4 weeks. This is the fastest possible turn-around time given the application time frames provided by the Supreme Court of Victoria.
- Intention to apply for Grant advertised online
- Application lodged on 15th day after advertisement is published
- Grant received within 7 – 14 business days
Most Grants are received within 6 – 8 weeks. This is the fastest possible turn-around time given the application time frames provided by the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Intention to apply for Grant advertised online
Application lodged on 15th day after advertisement is published
Grant received within 24 business days
Most Grants are received within 4 -5 weeks.
No Advertisement necessary
Application can be lodged 14 days after date of passing
Grant received within 4 weeks of lodgement