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Probate and Deceased Estate Lawyers

SERVICES

Probate, Letters of Administration, Notice of Death and Deceased Estates

As professional probate and deceased estate lawyers with our empathetic and compassionate approach we will guide you through the complex process of estate administration and ensure a seamless progression from start to finish.

Probate and Deceased Estate Lawyers

We truly appreciate and understand that dealing with a deceased estate can be an emotional and stressful time. As your expert probate and deceased estate lawyers, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Our legal fees for probate and administration of an estate are charged in accordance with legislation.

Let us help you by:

  • Interpreting And Helping You Understand The Terms Of The Will
  • Advising Executors Of Their Rights, Responsibilities And Duties
  • Informing Government Departments Of The Deceased’s Passing
  • Where There Is A Valid Will, Preparing And Applying For Probate In The Supreme Court
  • Where There Is Not A Valid Will, Preparing For And Applying For Letters Of Administration In The Supreme Court
  • Calling In Estate Assets And Paying Estate Liabilities
  • Selling Or Transferring Of Estate Property And Obtaining Valuations Where Required – And
  • Preparing A Distribution Statement And Attending To Distribution Of The Estate.

The most common questions asked of probate and deceased estate lawyers:

What is a Notice of Death?

A Notice of Death is a form required to be lodged with Land Registry Services when an individual has passed whilst holding property as joint tenants with another. This process ensures that legal title is transferred from the deceased’s name with the other joint tenant/s to those surviving. A Notice of Death is mandatory when selling a property where one of the owners has passed.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of validating a deceased person’s will to ensure that persons testamentary wishes are carried out by their appointed executor. Put simply, it is the Supreme Court of New South Wales recognising the person’s will as valid.

When applying for a Grant of Probate in New South Wales, an application must be filed with the Supreme Court. An Application for a Grant of Probate must include the following:

  • Summons for Probate
  • Original Will of the deceased
  • Affidavit of Executor/s
  • Death Certificate of the deceased
  • Inventory of property detailing the deceased’s assets and liabilities
  • Grant of Probate.

Is Probate necessary?

Probate is required when a person has passed away leaving an estate which is greater than a certain value or has specific types of assets. Typically, if the deceased held bank accounts in their sole name, the financial institution will require a Grant of Probate prior to releasing the funds to an executor. Each financial institution will have its own internal policy regarding whether a Grant of Probate is required for a certain amount and it may be worth checking with them in relation to your circumstances. If the deceased held property in their sole name or as tenants in common, a Grant of Probate will be necessary to enable the transfer of the property into the names of the beneficiaries or to sell such property.

Who applies for Probate?

Commonly, a Grant of Probate can only be sought by the executor or executors named in a will. If the executor or executors named in the will are unable or unwilling to act, it may be necessary for a beneficiary to apply in these circumstances.

Applying for a Grant of Probate can be a time consuming and complex process. It is therefore highly advisable that upon a person passing away, you immediately get in contact with us so we may ensure that the strict time limits are met.

How much does Probate cost in New South Wales?

To file the Application for a Grant of Probate, a filing fee to the Supreme Court is payable. This fee is determined by the Supreme Court and is based on the value of the deceased’s estate.

As at January 2020, the Application for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration filing fee is:

  • Estate valued less than $100,000 – no filing fee
  • Estate valued between $100,000 and $250,000 – filing fee is $761
  • Estate valued between $250,000 and $500,000 – filing fee is $1,033
  • Estate valued between $500,000 and $1 million – filing fee is $1,583
  • Estate valued between $1 million and $2 million – filing fee is $2,109
  • Estate valued between $2 million and $5 million – filing fee is 3,515
  • Estate valued over $5 million – filing fee is $5,860

The costs for legal services in relation to obtaining a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration are fixed in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015 NSW. The legal costs for obtaining a first-time grant are as follows:

 

Disclosed value of assetsCosts payable
Not exceeding $30,000$560
Plus $13.33 for each $1,000 up to $30,000
Exceeding $30,000 but not exceeding $150,000$960
Plus $5.90 for each $1,000 in excess of $30,000
Exceeding $150,000 but not exceeding $1,000,000$1,670
Plus $4.47 for each $1,000 in excess of $150,000
Exceeding $1,000,000 but not exceeding $3,000,000$5,470
Plus $1.66 for each $1,000 in excess of $1,000,000
Exceeding $3,000,000 but not exceeding $5,000,000$8,800
Plus $1.10 for each $1,000 in excess of $3,000,000
Exceeding $5,000,000 but not exceeding $10,000,000$11,000
Plus $0.90 for each $1,000 in excess of $5,000,000
Exceeding $10,000,000$15,500

 

However, when engaging a firm to obtain a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration (as applicable), it is important to enquire as to whether the legal fees are in relation to only obtaining the grant or whether they extend to acting in the administration of the estate after the grant is made. To discuss your legal options regarding Probate or Letters of Administration, please call our office.

How long do I have to wait to receive a distribution from the estate?

An Application for a Grant of Probate must be made by the executor or executors within six (6) months from the date of the deceased’s death. The first step in the process is publication of the notice of intended application for a Grant of Probate. Legislation necessitates that you must wait two weeks (after the notice of intention to apply has been placed) before submission of the Application of the Grant of Probate to the Supreme Court. Once the Application of the Grant of Probate is submitted it can take between 3-8 weeks, depending on how busy the Supreme Court is, before a Grant will be issued.

An interim distribution can be made to the beneficiaries of the deceased upon receipt of the Grant of Probate, however it is recommended that distribution does not occur prior to six (6) months from the date of death of the deceased, to ensure executors are protected from personal liability.

Ready to chat with our friendly, professional probate and deceased estate lawyers? Based in Newcastle, our firm provides expert advice on probate and deceased estates across New South Wales and Queensland.