What is Probate?

Probate is an order of the Supreme Court of NSW which is necessary for an executor of a will to obtain in certain situations. Whilst there is a range of circumstances in which probate is required, the most common is when the assets of the estate are valued over $50,000.

The executor of the deceased’s persons will is the relevant person to make the application of Probate. Most of the time this executor is one person. However, on rare occasions this can be more than one person. 

By applying for Probate, the executors of the will are declaring to the court:

  •         The testator (person who has drafted the will) has recently passed away;
  •         The testator left a will making the relevant person the executor;
  •         That the executor will ensure that the assets of the estate are transferred to the beneficiaries as per the terms of the will.

An executor must apply for probate within 6 months from the date of death. Whilst you can file an affidavit of delay to file after this date, this is not recommended unless you have a valid excuse the Court will accept.  The process of probate cannot really begin until you receive the formal death certificate from Birth Deaths and Marriages. This takes approximately 4-6 weeks from the date of death of the testator. Due to this, we recommend that you start the process of probate once you receive the death certificate. 

From start to finish, the process of probate usually takes no longer than 6 months.  However, this may change depending on various factors of the estate. If the process of probate is not dealt with properly from the beginning it can lead to major to delays. As an executor of a deceased estate, you will want to ensure that you obtain probate quickly. This way, you can ensure that the beneficiaries receive their gifts promptly whilst also complying with your legal obligations.

Probate can be expensive if you do not receive the right advice from the beginning. A good lawyer or solicitor will tell you that the costs of probate are dependent on the value of the estate. This is a standard fee enforced by the Supreme Court of NSW.  What this really means is that using a local lawyer from Penrith, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury to assist you with probate can be very cost effective, especially if you live in one of those areas. No need to waste excessive money or time by travelling to the city.

If you have any questions, please contact us on 4721 6200 and have a chat to our estates team.

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