Applying for probate

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

The executor may be required to advertise his / her intention to apply for Probate. This is done by placing an advertisement, with the required wording, in the Public Notices section of a newspaper circulating throughout the State in which the deceased lived or a newspaper approved for the area of the deceased’s last known address. A copy of this advertisement must also be given to the Public Trustee. Click here for more information.

Anyone claiming an interest in the estate can file a caveat against the estate or notify the executor of their potential interest in the estate. If this occurs, then probate will usually not be made until the claim is resolved.

If no caveat is filed and the executor does not receive notification of any interest from a third party, then the executor can proceed to obtain Probate. There is usually a time period that the executor should allow before making the application for Probate and this may vary from State to State.

The executor can obtain probate through the local Supreme Court Registry. The original Will and the death certificate must be lodged with the required forms. There may be a lodgement fee so you should check with your local registry. If there is any doubt regarding the validity of the Will, Probate may not be issued until further evidence is provided. Examples of this may be if the Will is undated, if there are two (2) dates on the Will or if the testator signed the Will by a mark or was blind or illiterate. If the condition of the Will suggests that changes were made to the Will or an attempt was made to destroy the Will to cancel or “revoke” it, , further evidence will usually be required to be provided.  Click here for more information.

If you need assistance, contact an expert lawyer.

Additional copies of the grant can be provided to the executor for an additional fee. These copies may be required depending on the number of assets held by the deceased.

The original Will is retained by the court, and from then on, members of the public can usually inspect the Will and Probate.

If a minor error was made in the grant of Probate, such as an incorrect date, this error may be simply amended by the Supreme Court Registry without requiring the grant to be revoked and a new application made.

Sometimes Probate can be revoked after it was issued, such as where a second and later Will is found, or if the grant was provided to the wrong person.

If as executor you are threatened with an application to revoke the grant of Probate, you should obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible, as you will need to protect yourself personally from any legal action or legal costs.  Click here for more information.

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