When someone close to you passes in Australia, there are several things you need to for you to carry out the wishes of their Will and handle their finances.
In today’s guide, we discuss what does probate mean in Australia, when is probate necessary, who applies for probate and how to apply for probate across states and territories in Australia.
Probate is a legal process to validate the Will of a person who has passed. When you receive a grant of probate, the court legally recognises the validity of the Will and the executor who’s responsible for the estate and its assets.
Probate may be required if the person who passes leaves behind certain kinds of assets. For example, if there is money in a bank account and the person was the sole account holder, the bank may ask for a grant of probate before releasing the funds to the named Executor.
A grant of probate is only required for funds if the value is above a certain amount. Every financial institution will likely have policies around deceased estates and their handling, so it’s best to inquire based on your circumstance.
Other scenarios where probate might be necessary includes:
It’s worth noting that every state and territory have different policies around probate, so it’s best to check with your local Supreme court.
Like bank accounts and shares, you might need a grant of probate to access the funds in a super account or make a life insurance claim. Life insurance isn’t usually a part of a person’s estate, and there are generally specific instructions around who will receive the benefit.
Depending on the insurer or the superannuation fund, more straightforward documents are enough for the person making a claim or trying to access the account. These documents can include a death certificate, birth certificate, and medicare records.
In most situations where probate is necessary, the named executor is the one who applies for probate. While most people think you need to engage a lawyer for the process, it’s not required, and there are excellent services that can help you with the process of applying for probate.
At Willed, we start with a free phone conversation to understand your situation. Then we will work with you to advertise your intent to apply and complete the application in your designated state, followed by helping you sign and lodge your application.
Understanding how to apply for a grant of probate is different across Australia. It’s always worth checking with your local court or seeking legal advice if you’re unsure.
In the meantime, we’ve provided a few notes on things you should know when applying for probate in different states and territories in Australia.
Understanding what Probate means in Australia will help you properly handle the assets of a Will should someone close to you pass and your name the Executor. Another thing to note is that if the person who passes has assets in multiple states across Australia or more than one country, a reseal of probate is required.
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.