Our fixed fee service for Probate applications costs $990 + outlays of $884.30 for filing fees. Ask about our deferred payment solutions to help ease the burden at a difficult time. Call us on 07 3073 2405.
What is Probate?
Probate is the process of proving a person’s Last Will is valid. An Executor may want to obtain it to protect themselves from liability for distributing property without authority.
When is probate required in Qld?
A common misconception is that probate is always necessary. Actually, it is only needed if the deceased held property which will only be released or transferred to the Executor with a certified grant. These typically include a house, unit or land and bank accounts / term deposits.
Probate is not always required to access and distribute an asset. If individual funds are below a threshold, the institution holding the asset (banks, credit unions etc) may release funds without it. The threshold for releasing an asset without probate is at the discretion of the bank. However, in most cases if the value is less than $20,000 upon receiving a formal request the bank will release funds. We have helped clients to obtain a release of assets for even higher amounts.
The asset holders’ primary concern is to ensure the deceased’s asset is not inappropriately given to the wrong person. Hiring a Probate Lawyer can help reassure institutions that the Executor will distribute assets in accordance with the Will and Queensland laws.
Even if a deceased person owned a house, unit or land, probate may not be needed in many cases. For example, where:-
- the property was held jointly. In some circumstances the house or unit may be transmitted by recording the death of a joint tenant in the approved form; or
- the Land Titles Registrar considers the Executor would be entitled to a Grant but does not require it.
Call our office to schedule a free consultation. We’ll discuss your circumstances and help you understand your legal options.
Who can apply? (expand)
The Executor(s) nominated in the Will normally file the application. There may be occasions where the Executor cannot or will not apply. In those situations it is possible to apply to the Supreme Court of Queensland for a Grant of Letters of Administration with the Will. Such application may be necessary where:-
- the Executor named in the Will has died;
- the Will does not name an Executor; or
- the Executor is unable or unwilling to carry out their duties and has renounced their right to apply.
At Will and Estate Lawyers Australia, we can review your circumstances and tell you if you are eligible to apply and what to do if you are having difficulty navigating the Court process. Act today, contact us to schedule a free consultation with a Probate Lawyer in Brisbane today on 07 3073 2405.
How do I apply for probate in Queensland? (expand)
The law and procedure in Australia varies between State Supreme Courts. Applying for Probate in Queensland involves these steps:-
- Advertise the Executor’s intention to file a Supreme Court application in the Queensland Law Reporter at least 14 days prior to filing.
- Give notice to The Public Trustee at least 7 days prior to filing.
- Prepare documents in their approved form for filing with the Supreme Court of Queensland. These include the Application, Affidavit of the Executor, and Affidavit of Publication & Service.
- File the Application and supporting documents at the Supreme Court Registry together with original documents. When you file you must pay the prescribed filing fee per the Supreme Court’s rules.
- The Executor should be ready for any requisitions made by the Registry and respond promptly.
- Collect the sealed Court documents.
The Supreme Court filing fee an Application for Probate as of 1 July 2020 is $722.60. The Court Registry may reduce the filing fee if you’re experiencing financial hardship or believe paying the fee will cause financial hardship.
How long does it take for probate to be granted in Qld? (expand)
A Grant of Probate in Queensland is typically made within 2 – 3 months from the date we receive instructions. While we can prepare the initial documents to get the process started within 24 hours, this timeline factors an allowance for meeting the publishing deadlines of the Queensland Law Reporter which only publishes once a week, another two weeks mandatory waiting period before filing and then 4 – 6 weeks for the Court to issue the grant. The process can take much longer if the Supreme Court issues a requisition. By hiring a specialist Wills and Estates Lawyer you can avoid unexpected delays by ensuring the application is done right the first time.
I’ve got the Grant from Court: Now What? (expand)
As Executor, you have many obligations and duties you must fulfill. Those duties typically entail:
- Arranging the funeral (and paying for the funeral invoice). You are entitled to be reimbursed if you paid for the funeral from your own funds.
- Protecting assets. This includes insuring all property, contacting the bank regarding mortgage repayments and credit card bills.
- Notifying all relevant parties and government entities of the death (including Centrelink, local government / council)
- Collecting all assets and obtaining information about all debts, fees and liabilities owing at the date of death.
- Paying all liabilities
- Completing all outstanding tax returns and filing a final tax return
- Defending the estate and upholding the will in the event of a challenge or dispute including attending mediation and/or trial.
- Distributing possessions, property and residue to beneficiaries per the deceased’s wishes in the Will
Most Executors are unaware they may be held personally liable for distributing any asset. As notice of a will challenge may be given up to 6 months after the death, a Personal Representative who distributes any estate asset before 6 months does not receive the statutory protection from a law suit. Most family provision claims are made by a child, spouse or the guardian of a child under 18 years old. The safe option is to wait six months before making any distributions.
The good news is you’re not alone. Courts expect Executors to retain a lawyer to help lawfully administer estates. Costs for legal services are paid by the estates, and it won’t affect your entitlement to commission.
I need a Reseal
If the deceased had property in Queensland and you have already obtained a Grant from one of the Courts in another Australian state (NSW, VIC, ACT, SA, WA, NT or TAS) or a court in certain countries, you require a Reseal of Probate to comply with Qld law. The Court process and cost for these estates is similar to applying normally. If you are a Personal Representative and need help getting a reseal and for questions about the court process give us a contact us for a free 30 minute consultation.
Supreme Court Will Search
Are you looking for a lost will? Queensland’s policies and law regarding the holding of wills by the Supreme Court is different to the law in some other Australian states as the registry does not hold any wills. The only wills held are those already admitted to probate or annexed to an application for letters of administration. You are entitled by law to apply for a copy of a will subject to paying the search and copy fee.
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