What is Probate and what you need to know.


Paul Boylan

Paul Boylan

Senior Partner | Lawyer

Sebastian Hill

Sebastian Hill

Director | Partner

Vesna Vuksan

Vesna Vuksan

Senior Associate

Kym Jackson

Kym Jackson


What is Probate?

If it is necessary to administer formally, the Executor must apply to the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate.

Probate is an Order of the Court saying that the Will is valid and that the Executor has the right to administer the Estate.

Applying for Probate is quite technical. The Executor must complete a number of forms to the satisfaction of the Registrar at the Supreme Court.

What happens after the Probate is granted?

Once Probate has been granted, the Executor collects the deceased person’s assets and pays the deceased’s debts. At this time, it is important to find out the date and costs of acquisition of the deceased’s assets for the purposes of Capital Gains Tax.

Funeral expenses are first and then there is a particular order in which the other debts must be paid. After funeral expenses are paid, the Executor is entitled to claim any expenses relating to the administration of the Estate before other debts are paid.

Once debts have been paid, assets are either distributed amongst the beneficiaries according to the terms in the Will or they are sold, and the money is divided among the beneficiaries.

Finally, the Executor must prepare a distribution report and statement for the beneficiaries, showing what the assets were, how much money resulted from any sale of assets and what expenses and debts were paid.

When are the assets distributed?

When all assets have been identified and, if necessary, sold to raise cash, and all debts have been paid, the remainder of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries.