Information for executors of deceased Estates in New South Wales

When a loved one, or someone close to you, has passed away, on top of funeral arrangements, hosting family and friends, and grieving the loss, you may find yourself as the executor, who is responsible for managing a deceased estate.
Even without all of the above, being an Executor can be difficult and confusing, and it may be difficult to know where to start.
Though this article provides some general information and guidance, we recommend that anyone who has not been an Executor before should speak to a lawyer.
What is Probate?
A Grant of Probate is a Supreme Court document that gives an Executor authority to administer (deal with) the deceased’s estate (assets owned and liabilities owed by the deceased) in accordance with the will. This includes, for example:
  1. Signing forms to collect funds from bank accounts,
  2. Being recorded on the title for real property, that is to be sold, so that proceeds may be collected and distributed,
  3. Signing forms to arrange for sale of shares.
Do I need a grant of probate?
For some Estates, where funds held with each financial institution are less than $100,000, and there is no real property, it may be possible to administer the Estate without obtaining a Grant of Probate. You would need to check with each financial institution, as to whether they have any additional requirements if they would release funds without a Grant of Probate.
I am executor, what do I do now?
If you are named as the executor in the Will of a deceased, it is important that you take a number of steps, in the correct order, to administer the Estate without any unnecessary delays or costs.
  1. Preliminary steps
    1. You must have the original Will and Death Certificate in your possession.
    2. If you are aware of any other Will, or a person who may contest the validity of the original Will that you have, you should seek legal advice.
    3. You must publish a Notice of your intention to apply for probate on the NSW Online Registry. The fee is currently $47.00.
    4. An Application for a Grant of Probate can be filed with the Supreme Court of New South Wales 14 days’ after the Notice has been published.
  2. Documents and Timeframe
There are at least four documents required to be submitted with an application for a Grant of Probate:
  1. Summons
  2. Grant of Probate
  3. Affidavit of Executor
  4. Inventory
There may be other documents required, depending on the situation, or other information may be required in certain circumstances, such as, if an application is not filed within 6 months from the date of death, the court requires a reason for the delay to be included in the Affidavit of the Executor.
For more information
If you have been trying to decipher the Probate process, and would like some assistance, please contact our office and ask to speak to one of our experienced Probate and Estate solicitors.

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