Deceased Estates & Probate Law
Estate administration can feel like an overwhelming task when a family member passes away. With support, guidance and sound legal advice, we can help you to confidently administer your loved ones estate.
Depending on the value of an estate, organisations may require that you obtain what is called a ‘Grant of Probate’ or ‘Grant of Letters of Administration’.
ABKJ Lawyers can assist you with your Application for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration and explain your legal duties with respect to the administration of the estate. This is important if you have:
- Been appointed as an Executor of an Estate or;
- You are a relative of a deceased person who died without a Will or without a valid Will.
Our highly experienced team of estate lawyers will provide sensible, cost-effective advice on the available methods relevant to your particular situation. We will take the worry and stress out of this overwhelming task and provide you with the personal attention that is required.
Get your Probate application started today with ABKJ Lawyers. Call now on (07) 5532 3199 or contact us.
What Is Probate?
A Grant of Probate is official recognition that a Will is legally valid in the eyes of the Supreme Court.
It's a legal document that recognises someone's authority to deal with the estate of a person who has died.
I am the deceased’s Power of Attorney, do I require probate?
The Power of Attorney (POA) ceases upon the death of the principal so you still need a Probate.
The POA is not recognised during the probate application process and the last will will dictate who the executors and beneficiaries of the estate are.
What is Enduring Power of Attorney?
An enduring power of attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to manage your affairs; financial and personal/health decisions, should you be unable to do so yourself.
Is Obtaining Probate Necessary?
Without an official Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration, many professional organisations, such as a bank, life insurance company or superannuation fund, will decline to distribute the deceased’s assets.
Does Every Will Require Probate?
No. Whether a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration is required will depend on the:
- Nature/extent of the estate’s assets.
- Value of the estate’s assets.
For example, if the estate assets consist only of a property or a bank account with a minimal balance, the estate assets can usually be distributed without the need for a Grant of Probate.
Another instance where Probate is not required is the distribution of an asset that was jointly owned and is being passed to the surviving owner.
Note: If the deceased did not have a Will or did not have a valid Will, you will need to apply for Letters Of Administration (Intestacy) instead of a Grant of Probate.
How To Apply For A Grant Of Probate
In order to apply for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (Will Annexed), you must have the original Will and original Death Certificate.
If the Will satisfies the requirements of the Supreme Court, an advertisement must be published in a magazine known as the ‘Queensland Law Reporter’. Following a mandatory 2 week waiting period after the advertisement is published, an Application and supporting Affidavits can then be filed with the Supreme Court of Queensland.
In the event the Will, for example:
- contains an indentation, an unexplained mark or is torn
- contains pen markings which indicate changes were made to the Will after signing
- has not been signed by the deceased
- has not been signed in the presence of 2 witnesses
the requirements of the Supreme Court will not be met and additional Affidavit material will be required to be prepared and filed.
Administering a deceased estate can be a difficult time for the Executor, which is why our expert lawyers can assist you through each step of the Probate process.
How We Can Help
If required, we can assist you through the entire deceased estate administration and Probate application process.
We can assist you:
- to locate the assets and liabilities of the estate
- prepare and submit the advertisement to be published in the Queensland Law Reporter
- prepare and file the Application and supporting Affidavits
- by providing legal advice regarding whether the Will meets the requirements of the Supreme Court, and if not, prepare any additional Affidavit material which may be necessary
- to administer the estate generally by providing professional support during this difficult time.
How Long Does A Grant Of Probate Take?
The first step in the process is to advertise your intention to apply for probate in the Queensland Law Reporter. Once the advertisement has published, the Supreme Court imposes a mandatory 2 week waiting period.
Upon expiry of the waiting period, the Application and supporting Affidavits can be filed with the Court. At present, the Supreme Court can take anywhere between 4 – 8 weeks to issue a Grant once the documents have been filed.
How Can ABKJ Lawyers Help With Obtaining Probate?
Obtaining a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration can be one of the most stressful times when administering the deceased estate of a loved one.
Our Gold Coast team of experienced estate administration experts will work with you every step of the way to make the process as easy as possible.
We will provide guidance and legal advice whilst ensuring that your Probate application is correct and valid.
If you're making a Will, updating an existing Will, need Estate Planning advice or you've been appointed the Executor of an Estate, contact us for quality legal advice.
Use our years of experience and expert legal knowledge, call ABKJ Lawyers on (07) 5532 3199 or contact us online.