Probate is a Court order which confirms a Will is valid and that any Executors have the right to administer the Estate.
Before you even apply for probate you will need to publish your intention to do so on the Supreme Court Website advising that after fourteen days you will be lodging an application to apply for a Grant of Probate.
When lodging the documents with the Supreme Court of NSW the original Will is contained in the Affidavit of Executor. The Will will not be returned as this is held by the Court so no other party can use the original Will in another application.
The Supreme Court filing fees are charged on the gross amount of the Estate based on a sliding scale. Any Estates that are worth less than $100,000.00 there is no filing fee.
Professional fees for a Solicitor to act in obtaining a Grant of Probate is based on the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015- Schedule 3. However further charges above Schedule 3 may be charged for:-
- Sorting through Estate paper and items
- Obtaining Valuations/appraisals of assets/debts
- Ascertaining whether certain assets form part of the Estate
- Advising on the rights of other parties to challenge the Will
- Advising on complex questions or interpretations of the Will
- Advising on questions or informal Wills, rectification, capacity, duress, undue influence and forgery
- Advising on renunciation or reservations of right to apply
- Conducting enquiries and research to ascertain the existence of assets
- Preparing and publish in a notice of intended distribution
Once Probate has been obtained, you can start to obtain the assets of the Estate by selling the deceased’s property, selling shares and closing bank accounts so the money can be divided amongst the beneficiaries.
However, before any distributions are made you must place a publish a further notice on the Supreme Court website advising that within 30 days from publication of the notice and after 6 months from date of death the Estate will be distributed.
If you have any questions, please contact our friendly Wills and Estates team on 02 4721 6200.
Written by Lyn Clark