Dealing with a deceased estate is a very difficult time. The grief felt from losing a loved one is often unbearable and just when you think things can’t get much worse, there’s all the legal stuff to deal with!

One of the first steps in a deceased estate is to figure out whether or not ‘a grant of probate’ is required. Not all deceased estates require probate so you should seek legal advice about this if you are an executor of a will. People often mistake probate to be a tax but probate duty was abolished in Victoria many years ago.

Whether probate is required depends on the deceased’s assets. For example, if the deceased owned assets in their own name such as land, shares or bank accounts holding funds over about $40,000, probate will be required before those assets can be dealt with. Also, if the deceased was living in a nursing home and paid a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) upon entering the facility, probate will be required before the RAD can be released.

The executor named in the deceased’s will is the relevant person who applies for a ‘grant of probate’. The probate application is a court document prepared by a solicitor and lodged at the Probate Office of the Supreme Court. A ‘grant of probate’ is issued by the Court and confirms that the will is valid and provides the executor with authority to deal with the deceased’s assets.

For further information or advice, please contact:

Sarah Cohen
Senior Associate
T  03 5226 8574
E  scohen@ha.legal

or

Justin Hartnett
Principal
T 5225 5220
M 0419 571 840
E jhartnett@ha.legal