If you have been named as an executor in a will or are otherwise responsible for carrying out the wishes of a deceased, you should seek legal advice regarding how to administer the estate properly. One of the first duties of a named executor or proposed estate administrator is to determine whether a grant of probate or a grant of letters of administration is required.
Every estate is different and therefore has different requirements with respect to proper administration. A grant may be required to obtain a grant of probate to sell or transfer the deceased’s property or obtain a refund from an aged care facility which can often be significant.
If the estate is not managed appropriately, the administrator or executor can be held personally liable for losses suffered by intended beneficiaries.
The costs of administering the estate, including the legal costs to obtain a grant of probate or letters of administration, are payable by the estate itself.
What is a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
A ‘grant’ is an official court document that recognises someone’s authority to deal with the deceased’s estate.
There are 3 main types of grants:
- Probate – a valid will was written, and an executor named in the will is applying for the grant.
- Letters of Administration of the Will – a valid will was written, and someone other than a named executor is applying for a grant.
- Letters of Administration on Intestacy – no valid will was written.
Fixed Fee Probate Application Service
The process for getting probate can be complicated. You must advertise, complete a number of legal documents and file those documents with the Supreme Court.
When executors are administering an estate, they often need legal help to apply to the Supreme Court for probate.
We provide that help.
Basic Application for Grant
$1400 + GST
- Court filing fees ($793.00)
- Advertising fees ($161.70)
Costs valid as at 1 July 2023
Our fee for a Grant of Probate is fixed on the basis that no additional requirements for affidavits are needed to make the application.
Extra fees may be needed if the grant application is not standard.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a grant of Probate take in Queensland?
In Queensland, it takes approximately 8 weeks for a grant of probate to be issued. This is because the executor’s intent to seek the grant of probate must first be advertised in the probate notices section of The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland for a period of 14 days. Only after the 14 day period has lapsed can the application for probate be lodged in the Supreme Court. The court then takes time to process the application and make a decision.
How long does a grant of Letters of Administration take in Queensland?
A grant of letters of administration usually takes longer than a grant of Probate because it requires slightly more work in preparing the application to the court outlining the proposed administrator’s entitlement to be appointed by the court as the proper administrator. From experience, the process can take around 8-9 weeks, provided the application is not contested by someone else proposing to be the administrator.
Do I need a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
Probate may be required if the deceased left a will.
Letters of Administration may be required if there was no will left behind.
However, a grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is not always required. Whether a grant is required depends on the structure of affairs of the deceased, and the value of their estate left behind. For example:
- The Queensland Titles Office will always require a grant of probate (or letters of administration) to deal with any transfer of real estate left behind by the deceased.
- Some banks won’t require a grant of probate if the bank balance of the deceased is less than $100,000. The requirement to be provided with a copy of the grant varies bank to bank and is at their discretion.
After obtaining Probate or Letters of Administration, when can I transfer the deceased’s assets?
Considering Roche Legal practices in the area of estate litigation, we recommend that you do not transfer any asset from the estate without first seeking legal advice. If you transfer an asset “too early” and the estate is challenged by a person left out of the will, or who claims should be provided for from the estate, you could become personally liable.
Read more about estate litigation.