What Is Probate?
When someone close to you passes away, there are a few important things that need to be done in order to allow the deceased’s wishes to be carried out correctly.
Even if the person who passed away had a Will set up, things may not be as simple as just following the instructions on the Will. If they had any significant property that they were the sole owner of, a process called probate is required to be followed.
It’s basically a legally binding court order that says the Will is valid and needs to be executed. The probate (also known as grant of probate) process can vary by state, in this article we will discuss how it is dealt with within Victoria.
Is Probate Necessary?
You may be wondering if probate is necessary for you in your current situation, as it is not always crystal clear.
Usually, if assets were owned only by the deceased person (not a jointly owned asset such as a joint bank account or house), the financial institution may require a grant of probate before they release the assets to be distributed according to the Will.
If the assets were jointly owned or had another person’s name as an owner as well, probate is usually not required, and the assets can be transferred to the 2nd owner through an application by surviving proprietor.
Who Applies for Probate?
The executor of the will is the person who will need to apply for a grant of probate from the Supreme Court. Is it typically best practice to have a lawyer assist with the application of probate as the application can be a bit complicated. There are many documents that need to be meticulously completed and requirements met by the court to allow a probate through. In some cases unforeseen problems can come up such as debts owing, caveats and other matters that will need to be considered.
How To Apply for Probate?
The state of Victoria requires you to advertise your intention to apply for probate at least 14 days before your filing is made, therefore you must first advertise then after 14 days you may submit your application. You will also need to complete the required documents related to your filing and bring them to the probate office to file. There is a fee for filing Probate, you need to check the amount before hand as they change every year. Forms are not accepted with electronic submission. You will need to submit physically all your documents to the Supreme Court registrar and swear before a Justice of the Peace that you have searched the registrars database for any previous or existing applications in the name of the deceased.
For more detailed information visit the: Supreme Court Victoria Wills & Probate website .