A grant of Probate is where the Will-appointed executor has made an application, proven and registered a Will. The consequence of this process is that the executor is able to administer the deceased’s estate. This is to be contrasted with letters of administration, which is granted where an individual that is not the executor makes an application to prove and register the Will.
A grant of Probate allows the executor to administer the deceased’s estate. Banks and share registries often require a grant of Probate or letters of administration before they will release funds. Probate is also required to deal with land.
The executor must collect and secure the assets. Following this, the executor pays debts owed by the estate and transfers assets to the named beneficiaries.
When applying for probate, the validity of the Will that the deceased has executed may be contested. This includes determination of whether the Will before the court is the final Will of the deceased and what the legal capacity was of the deceased at the time that the Will was executed.
If there is no will or no executor appointed by the Will, then the appropriate family members can seek a grant of Letters of Administration to wind up the estate and distribute it to the family members. If there is no Will, the Administration Act, sets out which family members should receive the estate.
We can help you prepare the applications and deal with the estate once we have helped you obtain authority from the Probate Office.