Understanding Probate Qld

You’ve probably heard the word ‘Probate’ used when discussing someone’s estate after passing away—phrases like “waiting for Probate for grandma’s estate” or “grandpa’s estate is going to Probate.” But what exactly is Probate in Queensland, and is it something you need? Let’s break it down.

What is Probate?


Probate is a legal order from the Supreme Court of Queensland that officially recognises and approves a deceased person’s will. This process identifies the executor—the person responsible for carrying out the terms of the will.


Who Can Apply for Probate in QLD?


The executor(s) named in the deceased person’s will is the only person who can apply for and be granted Probate. Queensland law allows up to four executors to be appointed simultaneously. Suppose an executor is unavailable or unwilling to fulfil the role. In that case, the responsibility may pass to other co-executors or an alternative executor named in the will, depending on the will’s terms and surrounding circumstances.


Do You Need a Lawyer for Probate?


While it’s optional in Queensland for executors to hire a lawyer for Probate, the process can be complex. Engaging a lawyer familiar with Probate can be beneficial, making the process smoother and avoiding potential pitfalls.


Queensland stands out from other Australian jurisdictions in that only some real estate requires a grant of Probate or letters of administration. Craven Lawyers can help determine if Probate is necessary for your case.


How Long After Probate Can Funds be Distributed (QLD)?


In Queensland, estate funds generally cannot be distributed to beneficiaries within six months of the deceased person’s death. This timeframe allows for potential claims against the estate to be addressed. While this rule usually doesn’t cause significant delays, exceptions exist, emphasizing the need for legal advice before making distributions.


The Probate Process in QLD


How Long Does Probate Take in QLD?


Obtaining a grant of Probate in Queensland typically takes four to eight weeks. The process involves:

1. Reviewing the original will and death certificate.

2. Preparing a notice of intention to apply for Probate.

3. Publishing the notice of intention to apply for Probate in the Queensland Law Reporter.

4. Serving the notice of intention to apply for Probate on the Public Trustee of Queensland.

5. Waiting fourteen days from the time the notice of intention to apply for Probate has been published and served before filing the application for Probate.


Which Documents Do I Need for Probate in QLD?


The Probate application requires several documents, including:

1. The application for Probate.

2. An affidavit of the Executor supporting the application.

3. An affidavit of publication and service/

4. The original will, and a clear photocopy of the Will.


Once filed, the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court of Queensland processes the application, usually within one to eight weeks. If all goes according to plan, the Court will issue the Grant of Probate and notify the applicant it is ready to be collected.


Requirements of Probate in QLD


Before filing for Probate, specific steps must be completed. This includes:


1. Advertising the notice of intention to apply for a grant of Probate.

2. Serving the notice of intention to apply for a grant of Probate on the Public Trustee of Queensland.

3. Waiting fourteen days after publishing and serving the notice of intention to apply for a grant of Probate.


Once the above have been completed, the application for Probate and supporting affidavit evidence are filed with the Supreme Court and processed by the Probate Registry.


Considerations for Probate


Probate requirements vary based on estate specifics. Considerations include:


1. The location of the deceased person’s assets

Are the assets located in Queensland, another State in Australia or overseas?


2. The amount in the deceased’s bank or financial institution accounts

Each bank or financial institution will have its own requirements as to when it will require Probate before releasing funds.


3. Did the deceased have shares?

If the deceased had shareholdings of a value greater than $15,000, Probate is usually required.


The above factors influence whether Probate is necessary and guide the executor in navigating the process efficiently.


When is Probate Required in Queensland?


Probate is typically required for estates with assets of substantial value, which varies depending on the entities involved. Typical situations requiring Probate include substantial bank account funds, nursing home Refundable Accommodation Deposits, share portfolios, litigation, and concerns about certainty and liability for the executor.


When is Probate Not Required in Queensland?


Probate is generally unnecessary for assets owned jointly by the deceased person and another party, such as a spouse. Assets which are held jointly automatically pass to the surviving co-owner without Probate. Determining whether Probate is needed can be challenging, but Craven Lawyers can offer guidance based on individual circumstances.


In conclusion, Probate is a nuanced process, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Craven Lawyers are here to help you navigate the complexities, ensuring your estate matters are handled properly and efficiently—whether Probate is required. Contact us today for personalised assistance.


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