What is Probate (or Grant of Probate)?
If you’re the executor of a will, you'll often deal with banks, nursing homes, real estate agents, solicitors, etc. They all need to be sure the will is valid and that you’re the right person to administer it - so, they might ask you to prove it.
You prove a will by asking the Supreme Court to take a look at the will and the facts at hand, and if the court is satisfied that it’s legit, and you’re the correct person to administer it, they give (grant) you a letter saying it’s legit. That’s grant of probate.
Probate comes from the latin word ‘probatum’, which means ‘something proved’.
Why do I need a grant of probate?
If you don’t have grant of probate, people could challenge your right to administer the will - both now, and into the future. By having grant of probate, you can have clarity around your actions as an executor of the will..
Who applies for probate?
The person named as executor in the will is the person who needs to apply for grant of probate.
If there is no valid will, then someone with an interest in the estate (often a spouse or child) can apply to the court for permission to administer the will anyway – a process called “grant of letters of administration”.
How long does probate take in QLD?
From start to finish, grant of probate in QLD takes 6 to 8 weeks – it depends on how busy the courts are.
DIY applications can be significantly delayed if they have errors or omissions, missing documents, incorrect declarations, or an incorrect application procedure. Any or all of these can trigger the Registrar to issue a requisition on the application.
Who can apply for letters of administration?
The law in QLD says that if there’s no executor named in the will, or that person can’t act as executor, the first priority to apply for letters of administration is given to a surviving spouse.
If they can’t or won’t act, the sequence of priority is as follows – children, then grandchildren or great grandchildren, then parents, then brothers and sisters, then children of deceased brothers and sisters, then grandparents, then uncles and aunts, then first cousins, then anyone else the court may appoint.
How do you apply for grant of probate in QLD?
Before you can actually make an application for probate, the law requires that you first make public, in a prescribed manner, your intent to apply for grant of probate. To satisfy this requirement, you must advertise a notice of intent, and serve a copy of the notice of intent on the Public Trustee of Queensland. There are specific legal requirements for the content of the advertisement, as well as where it can be published. After the statutory period has elapsed, you can prepare and file your application in the Supreme Court of Queensland. Typically an application would include an affidavit of the executor, affidavit of publication, and the application itself annexing the original will and death certificates. There is a prescribed form of application, and statutory requirements for both the affidavit of the executor and the affidavit of publication. Failure to meet the statutory requirements can result in a failed application for grant of probate.
How much does grant of probate cost in QLD
There are two types of costs – the fixed costs, which you need to pay in all cases, even if you DIY, and then our service fees.
The fixed costs in QLD are;
Supreme Court Filing Fee of $706.70 (concession card holders can apply for a discounted fee of $124.50)
Advertising fee for the Queensland Law Reporter of $161.70
Our published ‘fully inclusive’ fee is inclusive of the fixed costs, and our professional fees.
What happens after probate is granted?
After probate is granted and you're issued a grant of probate bearing the seal of the Supreme Court, you can proceed to act as the executor of the will, and administer the will, including dealing with assets.