What Is A Grant Of Probate?

If you die with a valid Will then your Executor/s may be required to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court of Victoria.  Whether a Grant of Probate is required or now will depend on the value of your Estate and the requirements of your asset holders.  The Grant of Probate is granted to the Executor/s of your Estate and allows them to act in accordance with the terms of your Will.  This can include redeeming assets, paying liabilities, selling properties, as well as other important duties. 

Is A Grant Of Probate Required?

A Grant of Probate may not be required if, for example, you only have one bank account with a nominal amount.  The limit on the amount required to obtain a Grant of Probate varies from bank to bank.  They may release the funds without the Grant but each bank needs to be contacted individually to obtain the amount they are willing to pay-out without it. 

What if I die without a Will?

When someone dies without a Will (known as dying intestate) your next-of-kin may need to apply for Letters of Administration.  The person appointed is known as your Administrator.  This is similar to a Grant of Probate and allows the Administrator to deal with your Estate and distribute it in accordance with the applicable intestacy laws. 

Do I need a lawyer for a small Estate?

The Supreme Court of Victoria offers a service for small Estates to assist with the preparation of the documents required to obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.  If you are the Executor of a Will or the next-of-kin for someone who has died intestate, the Supreme Court of Victoria may be able to assist you, free of charge. 

Do I need a lawyer for a large Estate?

If you are dealing with an Estate that is not considered a small Estate, it is advised that you obtain legal representation.  It is a lot of work to deal with all of the required authorities, asset and liability holders, beneficiaries etc and you may not have the time or the knowledge to be able to deal with all of these parties.  Legal representation will take the pressure of an Executor or Administrator and they will deal with everything from contacting asset and liability holders, obtaining the information for the Probate or Letters of Administration application, redeeming the assets, transferring properties and ensuring that everything is done in accordance with the law.  

It is also advisable that you obtain independent taxation advice in relation to the Estate’s requirement to prepare a final tax return as well as any current or future tax liabilities of the deceased or the Estate.  

Without a legal practitioner, administering an Estate is a daunting task and is very time consuming.  Please contact our office today if we can assist you with an Estate.