PROBATE & DECEASED ESTATES

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Probate.

These are general answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked in relation to deceased estates and obtaining probate in South Australia.  

 

What is a grant of probate?


A grant of probate is issued by the Supreme Court of South Australia and it provides the right for the executor listed in the deceased’s Will to administer the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.




Do all Wills require probate?


The assets of the estate will determine if a grant of probate is required. Only assets that are held in the deceased’s sole name will require a grant of probate, and if the deceased only had minimal assets then a grant of probate may not need to be obtained. -If the deceased owned real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common then a grant of probate will always be required. -If the deceased held a bank account with a balance exceeding $20,000.00 and/or shares with a value exceeding $20,000.00 then a grant of probate will generally be required.




How do you avoid needing to obtain a grant of probate?


If you hold your assets jointly with a spouse or partner then you will not require the grant of probate. When a spouse or partner passes away any joint assets will remain the assets of the surviving spouse or partner.




What happens if I die without a valid Will?


If you die without a valid Will then the intestacy laws will determine how your estate is to be distributed. Dependent upon the assets that you hold in your estate you may be required to obtain a grant of letters of administration. Generally the letters of administration will be granted to your next of kin.




What will happen to my superannuation after I die?


If you have set up a binding nomination with your superannuation fund then the superannuation will be paid direct to the person that you have nominated as your binding nominee. If you do not have a binding nomination set up or it is found to be invalid then the trustee of the superannuation fund will have the discretion to decide who the funds are to be paid to. Generally these funds will be paid to your spouse, dependents or your legal personal representative.




What information do I need to provide my lawyer with when applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration?


As an executor or administrator of a deceased estate, you should have the following information readily available to provide to your lawyer in order to start the process: -The original Will (if applying for probate); -The original death certificate of the deceased; -A list of all of the assets that the deceased held; -A list of the all of the liabilities that the deceased had; and -Date of death balances of all bank accounts and superannuation accounts in the deceased’s sole name.




What tasks are involved in the administration of a deceased estate?


Apart from applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration, the executor or administrator will also need to carry out a number of other tasks. These tasks include distributing assets to the entitled beneficiaries, holding assets in trust for any minors, paying out all debts of the deceased, paying out all funeral and legal expenses, selling any real or personal property (if required), and reporting to the public trustee (if the deceased died without a valid Will.)




What types of assets are subject to probate?


At CPC Lawyers, our solicitors will carefully examine the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate to determine whether a grant of probate is required. We will ask questions such as whether the deceased owned real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common, what the date of death balances of any bank accounts of the deceased were, and what the date of death values of any shares held by the deceased was. Your lawyer will carefully examine the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate to determine whether a grant of probate is required. Many questions will be asked, such as: -Did the deceased owned real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common? -What are the date of death balances of any bank accounts of the deceased? -What are date of death values of any shares held by the deceased?




What does the Probate Registry do in South Australia?


All grants of probate or letters of administration applications are lodged with the Probate Registry, which also deals with other estate administration matters. All applications made to the Probate Registry must follow the strict rules as set out in the Supreme Court of South Australia Probate Rules 2015. It is therefore important to engage a lawyer to complete the process in order to minimise any unnecessary delays occurring due to errors.




How long does probate take South Australia?


The death of a loved one is a very difficult time and it is important to finalise the deceased’s estate matters quickly so that those who are close to the deceased can obtain closure. Once the probate or letters of administration application has been lodged it can take anywhere from approximately 2 weeks to 3 months for the grant of probate or letters of administration to be issued.





CONTACT US

220 Henley Beach Road

Torrensville 

SA 5031

     

Phone: (08) 7325 0219

Fax: (08) 8241 7901

info@cpclawyers.com.au

8.30 am – 5.30 pm  

By Appointment

 

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