What is The Probate Process and How Long Does Probate Take in QLD?

Obtaining a Grant of Probate involves 6 major steps — with many smaller ones in between — making the greater Probate process quite complex.

This is why it is important to get your Probate application right the first time.

Failing to do so can potentially cost you more money and lead to your application taking longer to process.

Below is an overview of the steps required from start to finish to obtain a Grant of Probate, and the approximate time frames for each of these steps.

1 Week
Obtain death certificate
An application needs to be made to the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages for an original death certificate certified by the Registrar. A photocopy is not sufficient.
2 Weeks
Publish Probate Notice
A Probate Notice needs to be published in the Queensland Law Reporter in the prescribed form of the executor’s intention to file an application for a Grant of Probate in the Supreme Court of Queensland. The Queensland Law Reporter publishes Probate Notices every Friday
3 Weeks
Serve Public Trustee with Probate Notice
After publication, the Probate Notice needs to be served on the Public Trustee of Queensland.
5 Weeks
Objection period

After publication, the executor is required to wait until the latter of the following periods before filing an application for a Grant of Probate in the Supreme Court of Queensland (prescribed period):

 

  • 14 clear days after the Probate Notice is published;
  • 7 days after the Probate Notice was given to the Public Trustee.

 

Anyone claiming to have an interest in the estate can file a caveat in the Supreme Court of Queensland to object to the Grant of Probate (objection). If they have evidence, the Court won’t make the Grant of Probate until the claim is resolved.

If a caveat is filed, the Registrar of the Supreme Court sends a notice to the person lodging the caveat and to the executor about the matter. When this occurs, it is no longer a simple Probate matter and specific legal advice needs to be sought.

Fortunately, objections only occur in about 1.5% of all Probate matters.

7 Weeks
Filling Court documents
Once the prescribed period has elapsed and assuming there are no objections, Queensland Probate:
  1. Prepares, signs and files the following documents in the Supreme Court of Queensland after they are signed:

    (a) Application for a Grant of Probate;
    (b) Affidavit Supporting Probate Application containing exhibits of a photocopy of the original last will and an original death certificate issued by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages;
    (c) Affidavit of Publication and Service confirming publication and service of the Probate Notice and exhibiting copies of them.
  2. Files the original last will in the Supreme Court
11-13 Weeks
Receiving Probate
The Registrar of the Supreme Court of Queensland considers the application for a Grant of Probate and issues Probate if everything is in order. The Supreme Court of Queensland can take up to approximately 4 to 6 weeks to assess the application once filed and then issue Probate. The Supreme Court of Queensland can issue a notice of requisition if there are any problems

Disclaimer

* Please note that these time frames are only intended as a guide and cannot be guaranteed. This is because processing times are subject to the actions of third parties outside Queensland Probate’s control, such as the volume of Probate applications that have been lodged with the court.

** Queensland Probate will not accept any liability for any claims for any loss or damages that may arise because the processing time for an application has exceeded the estimated time frames mentioned on this website.