What is a Grant of Probate?
Author: Aleah Bluhdorn
After a loved one has died, families face the task of dealing with the assets belonging to their loved one. A grant of probate is a legal document which recognises the validity of a Will and formally authorises an executor to administer the estate of a deceased person in accordance with the Will. An executor is a person named in a Will who is responsible for carrying out the terms of a Will.
The grant authorises the executor to perform tasks such as withdrawing funds from bank accounts, selling assets or transferring them to a beneficiary named in the Will and finalising the deceased’s taxation affairs.
A grant of probate can be obtained if your loved one held a Will at the date of their passing. If your loved one has died without a Will, you may need to consider obtaining a grant of Letters of Administration.
Do I need a Grant of Probate?
Not necessarily. Whether a grant is required will depend on the assets owned by the deceased person. If the assets were jointly owned with another person, then those assets will pass to the survivor and a grant of probate may not be required. If the deceased person owned assets in their sole name or as tenants in common with another person, then a grant of probate will be required. If the assets owned were not of significant value, then it may be possible for the executor or next of kin to deal with those assets without obtaining a grant.
How do I obtain a Grant of Probate?
In New South Wales, the Supreme Court of New South Wales is responsible for the issue of grants of probate. An executor must apply to the Court and pay a filing fee in order to begin the process of obtaining the grant. This application requires a copy of the death certificate, the original Will and an inventory of the assets held by the deceased person at the date of their death.
If you have been appointed as an executor in a Will and the will-maker has died, make an appointment with the MCW Lawyers Wills & Estates Team. Our lawyers will consider your circumstances and advise whether a grant of probate is required. We can also assist in preparing and lodging the application for probate with the Supreme Court of New South Wales.