A Guide On The Probate Process In Australia

Posted on: 29 June 2023

Most people do not comprehend the probate process. As such, they make oversights that complicate the estate settlement process. The blog below contains some probate FAQs to improve your comprehension of the process. 

What Is Probate? 

Probate is a legal process that authenticates a deceased person's will. Ideally, probate grants power to an executor to manage and divide property among the beneficiaries. If an individual dies intestate, family members must file for probate before bequeathing the deceased's estate. Typically, the court gives orders on how to share property if the beneficiaries do not have an existing arrangement. The court also names an executor to settle the estate. 

The best approach would be to seek the services of a wills and estates lawyer when filing for probate. In Australia, applicants must advertise their intention to apply for probate and provide this notice to the public trustee. If no one objects to your application, you prepare the documents needed to file probate and file these documents at The Supreme Court. If everything is in order, the court issues you the grant of probate. 

What Happens When You Receive The Grant Of Probate? 

The grant of probate allows an executor to access bank accounts, real estate, superannuation funds, life insurance proceeds, and shares. It can also allow them to claim bonds from aged care facilities. Ideally, the executor is expected to act in the best interests of the deceased and the estate. In most cases, the executor's immediate task is to pay any debts. They then distribute the property according to the deceased's wishes outlined in the will or court orders. 

Can Somebody Contest The Will? 

Once you advertise your intention to file for probate, interested people can contest the will or your application. Typically, they must meet the grounds needed to dispute the will. For instance, they could challenge the document's authenticity if it is fake or does not meet the required legal standard. For example, the document could lack the signatures of witnesses. The individuals could also argue that the testator was not of sound mind when writing the document. Alternatively, they could prove the existence of another will with conflicting conditions. A beneficiary could also dispute a will if they suppose it does not adequately provide for their needs. In other cases, beneficiaries could challenge your ability to execute the will. It is especially so if they have solid evidence that you will not act in the estate's best interest. Once someone contests the will or your intention to execute the estate, the court examines the submissions of both parties and gives a ruling.

Contact a lawyer for more information about probate


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