When someone dies in Australia, it triggers a series of administrative tasks that must be ticked off within a reasonable time frame. This means that loved ones might have to settle accounts and manage an estate – with one of these tasks being – (you guessed it!) – probate.
If you’re reading this, you may be considering DIY’ing the probate process. Why? Well, perhaps you’re looking to cut costs… or trying to save yourself from all that legal jargon and people in power suits. But we’re here to tell you that the process can and should be simple – and affordable – when you enlist the help of professionals (aka, us!)
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process people have to go through after the death of a loved one. It involves applying for a grant of Probate if there is a Will or a grant of Letters of Administration in the case of no Will.
Can I organise probate myself?
Technically, you can… but there are many components to manage, and it can be overwhelming for even the best of us. This is why some people choose to steer clear of the DIY probate route. (Trust us when we tell you that it’s a whole lot simpler when you have the Willed team on your side!)
The risks of DIY probate
While organising your probate (sans a legal professional) may seem like a good idea, there are some important factors to consider:
You may waste your time
In some cases, like when the asset value is low, you may not even need to apply for probate at all. A lawyer can advise you on this early on. The probate registry is also restricted from handing out legal advice, so you may spend hours on a probate application… when you didn’t even need one in the first place!
Complicated documents like a detailed affidavit may be needed to support your application, and even small errors or simple omissions can cause delays. A lawyer can check these for you to minimise the likelihood of mistakes happening.
Lack of clarity or feedback
When you DIY probate, you have to file your application in person and attend requisitions. If your application includes any errors, then the Court will not tell you what to do next, or what specifically went wrong.
There are plenty of other reasons why DIY probate is the more time-consuming, costly and stressful option, but we’ll bookmark it there for now.
Why it’s best to organise lawyer-assisted probate
Spend less time on paperwork
For starters, DIY probate requires a heck of a lot of research, and because each state and territory has a slightly different process, it can be tricky to source the right information.
It’s more cost-effective or affordable than you think
One of the main reasons people choose to DIY probate is understandably due to the cost factor. But here at Willed, we pride ourselves on our exceptional service, and affordable prices. And nothing against typical lawyers, because well, we are trained, practising lawyers, but speaking generally, the typical lawyer may charge by the hour or based on the size of the estate. As for us? We charge a reasonable fixed fee, regardless of the estate value.
Meet us in-person or online – it’s up to you
You don’t have to step into some fancy office with long wait times to get the ball rolling. We offer the flexibility to organise probate both in-person or online, so we can chat from the comfort of your own home, if so inclined.
When you’re already dealing with grief, it can be super difficult to even manage basic tasks – and while we are experts at handling probate files (in fact, we manage hundreds each year), the intricacies of probate can understandably be confusing for those without a background in Australian Probate law. Let us take the added stress off your shoulders and help carry the load, so you can focus on healing and spending time with your loved ones during this time.
When a friend or a loved one passes away, probate is an important step that comes next. While the amount of time it takes to receive a grant of probate can vary on a case-by-case basis, the easiest (and breeziest) way to fast-track the process is with the help of a trained solicitor or lawyer.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice