Frequently asked questions about Probate in Queensland
If you can’t see your question about Probate listed among our FAQ’s please don’t hesitate to get in touch and reach out to us directly. A quick conversation with one of our Probate experts will answer all your questions. We’re here to make Probate as easy as possible for you.
Probate is the Supreme Court of Queensland’s official recognition of a will as legally valid in Queensland.
A grant of probate is a Supreme Court document that recognises someone’s authority to deal with the estate of a person who has passed away. The grant from the Supreme Court confirms the validity of the last will of the deceased, verifies the executor’s identity.
In most cases, Probate is required before the executor of a deceased estate can take over control of the estate’s assets or “administer the estate”.
Once Probate has been obtained, the estate executor can pay the estate liabilities and distribute the estate’s remainder to the estate beneficiaries.
Most companies and groups also require a Grant of Probate in Queensland to transfer estate property or release funds.
The short answer is No.
However, if the deceased held assets in an organisation, they will likely ask for Probate, making it unavoidable in most cases. The majority of organisations in Queensland require a third party to produce a certified copy of the Grant of Probate once their client or member has passed away. An example of institutions that most frequently request a copy of the grant include – Banks, Share Registries, Nursing Homes & Accommodation Providers and The Lands & Titles Department, to name a few.
There are three main costs involved in Probate in Queensland. You can read a detailed cost description and breakdown on our Cost Of Probate Page Here.
There is no strict deadline for Probate. But the executor has a fiduciary duty to the estate to manage it as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
There are potential delays when it comes to the probate application process, and it is highly recommended that executors apply for Probate as soon as they are able. It is worth noting that there is an “executor’s rule stating that the executor generally has one year to attend to administer the estate after which there could be interest payable to the beneficiaries.
Speak with one of our probate experts about expediting a probate application in Queensland Here. Or call us on 07 3739 4200.
On average, the Supreme Court of Queensland takes around one month to process probate applications. This is highly dependent on the Court’s workload at the time of applying for probate and the complexity of the application.
Note: With COVID-19 restrictions, there could be unforeseen delays and restrictions on how and where you can apply for probate.
After the publication of notice of the intended application to apply for probate in Queensland 14 days must lapse before the application can be submitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland for processing.
Obtaining a Grant of Probate involves 6 major steps — Look at the timeframes of each here.
A valid Will in QLD needs to be:
- Written or Typed
- Signed By The Deceased Person
- Witnessed By At Least Two People
If the Will you have in your possession does not meet ALL the requirements mentioned above, the Supreme Court of Queensland can still Grant Probate for an informal-style Will if that Will meets the appropriate conditions.
Final Wills can most often be found by contacting the will-drafting solicitor. Australia has no register of Wills.
The deceased person’s residence must also be searched thoroughly and in their personal papers, possibly at an office location as well. If you can’t find any Wills, you should contact accountants and banks associated with the deceased.
If you fail to find any form of a Will for the deceased, please note that the Supreme Court of QLD can still issue Grants of Letters of Administration. Speak With Us to learn more.
It would be best to contact us directly and discuss obtaining Letters of Administration.
Letters of Administration is the name of another Queensland Probate Grant that is issued when no will was left behind. The appointed administrator will obtain similar powers to executors named in wills once Letters of Administration is received.
Queensland Probate will be able to obtain the original will from any law firm in possession of the original will, granted we have the consent of the executors named in the will.
If you apply for “Executor’s Commission” it is possible to get an order that the estate must reimburse you for any reasonable troubles and pains. You can speak to us about this application process.
If you can only find a fax or photocopy of the original Will you can apply to the Supreme Court of QLD to get a judge to issue probate from a copy of a Will. This is an irregular and complex application that requires you to produce evidence to overturn the Court’s assumption that the original (or newest version) Will was intentionally destroyed. You can speak to us about the process.
Generally, yes. The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy requires a copy of the Grant of Probate when you submit your transmission application. The transmission application allows the estate executors to transfer real property from the deceased’s name to either the name of the executor or beneficiaries.
However, if you do not need Probate to deal with any other asset of the estate, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy allows the executors to lodge a transmission application without Probate provided that you provide the Department with the original will.
No, you are not legally obliged to act as the executor. You can renounce your role as an executor and allow another named executor to perform the necessary executorial duties, to apply for probate and administer the estate.
You will have to renounce your executorship formally. We can assist you with this.
Yes. Power of Attorney (POA) ceases upon the death of the principal, which means you will require Probate.
The primary reason any organisation asks (requires) for a copy of the Grant of Probate is to eliminate their liability and indemnify themselves when releasing funds and estate assets to third parties.
These organisations depend on the Supreme Court of Queensland and the legal profession to perform any and all necessary identity verifications and the validity of the Will to determine the person to whom the assets must be transferred to.
Estate funds are generally consolidated in one “estate account”. More often than not this is either a deceased estate account or a solicitor’s trust account that can be set up at a retail bank branch which the deceased used.
As an executor, you have a fiduciary duty to finalise the administration of the estate in an efficient and timely manner. Generally, executors have one year to transfer bequests to the beneficiaries lest they be charged interest on such bequests.
These notices offer publicly available information relating to estates to interested parties, such as estate creditors and litigants. They contain contact details for the estate’s legal representatives and the names of estates.