What is probate and how long does it take?

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What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of validating a deceased person’s will after they have passed away. A grant of Probate made by the Supreme Court allows the Executor to administer the estate.

Administration of the estate can include transferring assets and or selling assets, paying estate debts, undertaking tax returns on behalf of the deceased and the estate and distributing cash to beneficiaries.

What is the threshold for probate?

There is no threshold for probate in NSW.

In NSW Probate may not be needed when all assets are jointly owned – as the process of effecting survivorship will ensure all assets pass to the joint survivor.

However, the majority of estate require a grant of Probate to be administered.

How long does it take for probate to be granted?

A grant of probate once submitted to the court can take between 4 – 10 weeks to be granted.

This is due to any further questions the Court may have (requisitions) and the internal processing time within the Court.

Once Probate is granted the process of administering the estate begins. This can take some time depending upon the assets and how they are being dealt with (e.g. if they are being sold or if they are simply being transferred to a beneficiary).

It is important to know that even if Probate is granted and all assets are called in quickly, the Executor cannot distribute the estate prior to 6 months of the date of death of the deceased.

How do I apply for probate?

You apply for Probate by filing the required documents with the Supreme Court of NSW.

This should be done 14 days after you have published your Notice of Intended Distribution.

What if I need help from a lawyer?

If you need advice or support in applying for probate, you may benefit from working with a Family Lawyer. The team at ALA Estates are specialists in Family Law matters, particularly surrounding wills, estates and estate planning. Get in touch with our friendly Penrith team on 02 4761 6935 and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation.

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