Probate Registry in Brisbane
In Brisbane, the Supreme Court of Queensland processes all probate applications through the Probate Registry. This division issues different types of probate grants depending on the deceased’s testamentary circumstances. This article explains the probate registry’s role in the administration of deceased estates in Brisbane.
What is probate?
If a deceased was a resident or owner of real property in Brisbane, their personal representative must administer their estate according to Queensland law. Their personal representative will administer the estate according to the wishes expressed in the will, or in the absence of a will, the personal representative will be guided solely by the intestacy rules in the Succession Act 1981. In either case, the personal representative (executor or administrator) can apply to the Supreme Court Probate Registry for a grant of probate, which is a verification of their appointment and a formal process to prove the will (or address the absence of a will).
Probate Registry Brisbane: types of grants
The Probate Registry in Brisbane issues a Grant of Probate to an appointed executor to administrate a valid will or Letters of Administration (With A Will) to an authorised administrator in the absence of an executor. There is also facility for an administrator to obtain Letters of Administration (Without a Will) to manage an intestate estate. The Probate Registry in Brisbane can also endorse a grant issued in a different jurisdiction through the issuance of a Reseal of a Grant of Probate.
Applying to the Probate Registry in Brisbane
Armstrong Legal can help an executor or administrator with the sometimes complicated and intimidating process of applying to the Probate Registry in Brisbane.
The initial step is for the personal representative to check whether the Probate Registry has already issued a probate grant to another person to administer the deceased estate. Then the personal representative needs to inform the other eligible applicants of his or her intention to apply. Every executor that is named in the will must be a signatory to the application or the attached affidavit must explain the absence of an executor’s signature. For instance, the applicant must provide a death certificate when the executor themselves predeceases the testator.
An application to the Probate Registry in Brisbane must conform to process rules and standard formatting rules (for instance, the affidavit must be typewritten and the paragraphs numbered). The applicant should strictly following the steps in the process, specifically:
- Advertise the intention to apply for a probate grant in the QLR (Queensland Law Reporter) in accordance with the Form 103 – Notice Of Intention To Apply For Grant;
- Provide a copy of the Notice of Intention to Apply to the Queensland Public Trustee in person or via electronic or postal mail;
- Wait 7 days after the Trustee receives the Notice, and a total of 14 days after the Notice is published in the QLR before filing with the Probate Registry. This delay allows time for an interested person to file a probate caveat or protest to the appointment of the personal representative;
- Collect together documentation and prepare forms and affidavits in compliance with the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999; and
- File an application with the Probate Registry in Brisbane. The fees associated with lodging an application are subject to increase over time, but the current rate can be found online.
Probate Registry Brisbane: processing applications
In Brisbane, the Probate Registry typically takes between 3 and 6 weeks to process an application for probate. The process may incur further delays if there are challenges to the will or the Court issues a notice of requisition seeking further information or clarification. The applicant must fully answer a requisition before the application can proceed, but not needlessly repeat the information contained in the original application. Responding to a requisition can be difficult, and the Probate Registry is unable to provide advice. However, Armstrong Legal can assist with both an application and help you to answer a requisition to avoid delays in the process.
Is it necessary to apply to the Probate Registry in Brisbane?
The solicitors at Armstrong Legal can also help a personal representative work out whether it is strictly necessary to obtain a probate grant in order to administer the deceased estate. With smaller estates, especially where assets were jointly owned with the deceased and another person, it may not be necessary to apply to the Probate Registry in Brisbane. Most jointly owned assets will automatically transfer to the surviving owner. Many financial institutions will release smaller amounts held in the deceased’s bank accounts as long as the personal representative is willing to take on responsibility for any future legal liability relating to the funds.
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