Sydney Probate & Executor Duties FAQ

What is probate?

Probate is the process by which there is confirmation that a will has been validly made and approved by the Supreme Court.

Who needs to apply for probate?

A grant of probate gives the Executor/s the authority to deal with the assets of the estate. In some small estates, it may not be necessary to obtain probate. If the only asset is a bank account, bank rules may allow a small account to be closed without probate.

What is an Executor?

An Executor is a legal term referring to a person named by a maker of a will, or nominated by the testator, to carry out the directions of the will. Typically, the executor is the person responsible for offering the will for probate, although it is not absolutely required that he or she do so.

Do I need to get probate if I own my assets jointly with my spouse?

If a person’s assets are all jointly owned no grant of probate is required.

How long does probate take?

The process of obtaining a grant of probate should be concluded within 8 to 12 weeks of the date of death.

What are the fees involved in obtaining probate?

The Supreme Court charges fees to process the application. The court also regulates what lawyers may charge for the legal work, based on the size of the estate.

Why do I need a Death Certificate?

An original death certificate is required to apply for probate and to allow for the administration of the estate.

Can I access the deceased’s bank account?

Most banks will give an executor immediate access to bank accounts of less than $5000. Bank accounts in joint names should not be affected at all by the death of one joint owner.

I am the Executor of an estate. Do I need a lawyer to act for the estate?

You do not need a lawyer, however, administering of estates can be quite complex and may require a considerable amount of time necessary to undertake all the tasks that are required. There are legal requirements that must be satisfied to comply with the law and if you are an Executor it is probably wise to at least gain some initial legal advise at the earliest opportunity.

Administration of an Estate – Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
Assets and Liabilities of an Estate
Contracts Involving Wills
Executors’ Obligations
General & Enduring Guardianship
General & Enduring Power of Attorney
Intestacy Rule
Legal Capacity and Wills
Living Wills and Mutual Wills
Not-For-Profit Organisations: Wills & Bequests
Retirement Village & Aged Care Advice
Retirement Village Accommodation
Revoking a Will
Special Disability Trusts – What Are they and How Can they Assist you

Succession Planning
Testamentary Trusts
vBlog – Estate Law
Ways to change your Will
Advanced Care Directives
Dementia and the Law
Does A Person Have Capacity To Make A Will?
Enduring Guardianship
How to begin dealing with a Deceased Estates
FAQ about Probate & Executor Duties
Family Provision Act Claims and Estates Disputes
FAQ about Planning For Your Future
Farm Succession Planning
FAQ about Wills & Estate Planning

Guardianship Tribunal Appeals
Granny Flats
How To Write A Will
Notary Public
Power of Attorney
Reviewing Your Trust Deed
Retirement Village & Aged Care Advice
Self Managed Super Funds and Estate Law
Superannuation Complaints Tribunal
Special Disability Trusts
Special Disability Trusts – extension to CGT relief
Substitute decision-making
The Succession Act
Transition to Aged Care
Wills & Estate Planning

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