Probate and Letters of Administration

Probate is the process of proving and registering in the Supreme Court the last Will of a deceased person. When a person dies, somebody has to deal with their estate.

It is usually the executor of their Will who administers the estate and handles the disposal of their assets and debts. In order to get authority to do this, they usually need to obtain a legal document called a ‘Grant of Probate’.

To protect the interests of those who hold the deceased’s assets (for example banks) the executor may be asked to prove they are authorised to administer the Will before the assets can be released. The Grant of Probate is the proof required.

To obtain a Grant of Probate, the executor named in the Will must apply to the Probate Office of the Supreme Court. If their application is approved, the executor is given a Grant of Probate to confirm the author of the Will has died, the Will is authentic and the executor is who they say they are.

An executor can be an individual or a trustee company like the Public Trustee. Once a Grant of Probate has been given, management of the deceased’s assets can safely be transferred to the executor.

All Grants of Probate are stored, along with the corresponding Will, at the Supreme Court. These are public documents. If a deceased person does not have a Will, validation of their estate and benefactors is not done with a Grant of Probate, but with a similar document known as ‘letters of administration’. In these circumstances, the Probate Registry refers to the Administration Actto assess applications.

If you are responsible for the administration of an estate, we offer general advice and assistance with particular aspects. Alternatively, you can engage us to do the job for you.

At Frichot and Frichot we can prepare your application for either Probate or Letters of Administration and file it at the Supreme Court Probate Registry. Our services usually include:

  • collecting information from you and preparing your application and any consent forms (if required);
  • arrange for you to sign the application; and
  • file the application at the Court and give you the Grant once we receive it.

Articles of Interest

Making a Will if capacity is in question

How to go about making a will if capacity is question. Who decides on the capacity? When should the Will be signed? Could the Will be challenged? How a lawyer can help. If you are over the age of 18 you can make a Will – provided you have capacity.

Living through your Retirement – Life beyond bowls and bingo!

People talk about buying their first home as being a life-changing event, which it is. It is rare however for people to talk so excitedly about moving into retirement living. Sooner or later most of us are likely going to have to deal with this confronting issue,...

Enduring Powers of Attorney Explained

Most people have heard of a Power of Attorney, however, most do not fully understand the extent of its power, the benefits it delivers or the types of Powers of Attorney that exist. A Power of Attorney is a useful legal document which can be used to authorise a person...

Can Your Ex De Facto Inherit Under Your Will?

Once upon a time you were living together happily with your de facto partner. Roses were bought, dinners were cooked, finances were shared and Wills were signed leaving all your assets to your partner in the event of your tragic passing in years to come. Thoughts of...

Why it’s a bad idea to write your own Will

It is relatively easy to find a free Will template on the internet and fairly cheap to buy a Will “kit” from a newsagent or online. There are also websites that have “data collectors” that take your information and create a Will for you seemingly without any legal...

Tips for Making a Valid Will

Preparing a legally valid Will during your lifetime allows you to reduce the emotional stress and financial burden often associated with death, and gives you the opportunity to provide for and protect the people you care about after you pass away. Failure to leave a...

Request an Appointment