Probate Sydney 1300 4 PROBATE (1300 477 622)

Frequently Asked Questions Probate

Do I need to obtain Probate?

Information on whether you need to obtain the Grant of Probate can be found by clicking here.

How long does it take to obtain Probate?

Information on the time it takes to obtain the Grant of Probate in NSW can be found by clicking here.

What are the fees and costs to obtain Probate in NSW?

The fees and costs to obtain Probate depend on the nature of the estate. Click here to find out more.

Do I need to disclose assets that were held as joint tenants?

Assets which are held by the deceased as joint tenants do not form part of the estate as at law these assets pass to the surviving joint tenant. Despite this, the details of the joint tenancy, including the nature of the asset and value should be disclosed to the Court in a separate schedule within the application for Probate to ensure that the executor has made a full disclosure to the Court.

The assets disclosed as being held as joint tenants are not included when determining the value of the estate, which is used to calculate the Probate filing fee. See more about fees and costs here.  

What if the Will is being held by the deceased’s solicitor?

In many instances the original Will is retained by the deceased’s solicitor for safe keeping. An executor is not required to engage the services of the lawyer or solicitor holding the Will, and Probate Sydney will organise for the original Will to be collected and held in safe custody until produced to the Court to enable the Grant of Probate.

I can only find a copy of the Will, can I use this copy for Probate?

The starting position for the Court, if only a copy of the Will can be located, is that the original Will must have been revoked by the testator (the deceased). In these circumstances the Court will hold that the deceased did not leave a Will upon his or her death and as such the estate should be administered only after a Grant of Letters of Administration (click here to find out about Letters of Administration).

The executor is able to reverse the starting position of the Court by leading evidence that the Will has not been revoked and that the copy of the Will is in fact a true copy of the deceased’s last Will and Testament.

Provided sufficient evidence is provided to the Supreme Court of NSW, the copy of the Will may be admitted to Probate until the original is located (if ever). Probate Sydney has experience in obtaining Grants of Probate in NSW of a copy of a Will. Please contact us by clicking here or calling 1300 4 PROBATE (1300 477 622).

Do you offer other services apart from Probate?

Probate Sydney is a dedicated Probate service enabling executors to obtain Probate at a fixed fee, quickly and hassle free. Probate Sydney can also assist with the administration of the estate after the Grant of Probate has been obtained, such as collecting all estate bank accounts into our trust account, paying beneficiaries and transferring assets (such as real estate and shares). Further details can be obtained at the time of commencing the Probate application by contacting us here or calling 1300 4 PROBATE (1300 477 622).

I have attempted to obtain Probate but have received requisitions from the Supreme Court of NSW, what do they mean?

A requisition from the Supreme Court of New South Wales is notice that some or all of the requirements under the Probate and Administration Act and/or Supreme Court Act (NSW) have not been complied with.

Requisitions can be issued for a variety of reasons and to rectify such the executor will need to address the issues raised by filing further and/or amended documents.

Even if Probate Sydney did not file the application for Probate we are able satisfy the Court of the requisition once we are instructed by you. Contact Probate Sydney by clicking here or calling 1300 4 PROBATE (1300 477 622).

Do I need to publish notice of the application for Probate in the newspaper in NSW?

Not any more. Before a Grant of Probate can be made the Supreme Court of NSW requires that notice of the intended application is made in the proper form. From 21 January 2013 notices can no longer be published in the newspaper and must now be published via the online Court.

Any application filed before 14 days from publication of this notice will be rejected and a requisition raised by the Court.

Do I have to pay for the Probate fees and costs with my own money?

Probate Sydney do not require payment of any fees until after the Grant of Probate is obtained apart from the Supreme Court of NSW filing fee.

In most instances the filing fee can be obtained from the deceased’s bank and as part of our service Probate Sydney corresponds with the deceased’s bank to request the funds to cover the filing fee.

In the event that the deceased did not leave sufficient funds in a bank account to pay the Court filing fee you will be required to pay this fee from your own money, although all costs and expenses incurred in administration of the estate (including the filing fee and Probate Sydney’s costs) are paid by the estate and you will be reimbursed immediately from the estate assets once the Grant of Probate has been obtained and assets sold.

How long do I have to apply for Probate in New South Wales (NSW)?

Applications should be filed with the Court within 6 months from the date of death. If an application is filed out side of this period the Court will require an explanation for the delay to be filed in the form of an affidavit. Probate Sydney will ensure that your explanation for delay is set out within the application so that Probate is not delayed.

The administration of the estate should be finalised within 12 months from the date of death (‘the executor’s year’) to avoid interest being claimed by beneficiaries. Find out more about your duties by clicking here

The deceased left assets in another State, can I obtain Probate in another State?

The Supreme Court of New South Wales (NSW) require that the deceased left assets in NSW in order for the Court to have the jurisdiction to make a Grant of Probate. If a Grant of Probate has already been obtained in New South Wales (NSW) this document must then be Re-Sealed in the State where the assets are being held in order to release those assets, unless dispensed with by the assets holder (for example in most instances the Share Registries do not require Probate to be Re-Sealed in another State provided that certain declarations are made).

If there are no assets in New South Wales (NSW) then Probate cannot be obtained in NSW and an application should be filed in the State where the asset is held.  

What do I do after I have obtained Probate?

Following the Grant of Probate the executor must ensure that they perform their duties. Details of the executor’s duties can be found by clicking here.

Following the Grant of Probate a Notice of Intended Distribution should be published in the newspaper so that you are protected from claims of creditors and beneficiaries. Probate Sydney organises this notice as part of the Probate service.

What is a Will?

In New South Wales a Will is a document in writing, executed in accordance with the formalities set out in the Succession Act (NSW), which embodies the testamentary intentions of the deceased.

The formal requirements of a Will are set out in the Succession Act and provides that a Will must be in writing, and signed and witnessed in a certain manner.

If the formal requirements are not met the Court may still admit the document as an informal Will.

What if the Will is not signed, can I still proceed with Probate?

Yes, provided that the Court is satisfied that the document purporting to be the deceased’s last Will and Testament was intended to be his or her last Will. If sufficient evidence is adduced that the deceased intended the document to be their last Will, then the formal requirements will be dispensed with and Probate of the unsigned Will granted.

If the Court is not satisfied that the deceased intended the document to be his or her last Will, then the document will not be admitted and an application for Letters of Administration will need to be made instead. Click here to find out more about Letters of Administration.

I am a beneficiary under the Will and the executor has not obtained Probate, can I do anything?

At law the executor is generally regarded as having the period of 12 months from the date of death to finalise the administration of the estate. While the Court is reluctant to interfere with the administration during this period, if the executor has neglected to carry out their duties within this period a beneficiary may apply to the Court for Letters of Administration with a copy of the Will annexed. Further advice can be obtained by contacting Probate Sydney by clicking here or calling 1300 4 PROBATE (1300 477 622).

What is the difference between Probate and Letters of Administration?

Probate is an application made by the executor named in the last Will of the deceased. Letters of Administration is an application made by an interested party where there is no Will in order for that person (called the administrator) to administer the estate in the same way an executor does had there been a valid Will.

Learn more about Probate here or more about Letters of Administration here

What is a Reseal of Probate?

Probate obtained in any other State or Country is regarded as having no legal effect in New South Wales (NSW). To avoid a fresh application for Probate being made, the Supreme Court of New South Wales (NSW) may Reseal the Probate obtained elsewhere provided the original Grant of Probate was made in one of Her Majesty’s Dominions (including another State of Australia).

Once Probate has been Resealed in NSW the original Grant is treated as if such was initially granted in New South Wales. Probate Sydney is experienced in obtaining the Reseal of interstate and foreign Probates in New South Wales (NSW). Contact us to get started on the Reseal application by clicking here or calling 1300 4 PROBATE (1300 477 622).

Where do I have to go to sign the Probate papers?

Once the Probate papers have been prepared by Probate Sydney we will require your attendance at one of our 7 Sydney locations to sign the affidavit material in support of the application. Attendance is strictly by appointment only and you can find out your nearest Probate Sydney location by clicking here.

If you are unable to visit us we will post you the documents to be signed (in the presence of a Justice of the Peace) and returned to our office. 

I am also the deceased’s Attorney under a Power of Attorney, which document takes priority, the Will or Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document signed by the Principal appointing another person to act as their Attorney in certain circumstances (such as illness, loss of capacity or unavailability of the Principal). A Power of Attorney ceases upon the death of the Principal and all decision making, rights and obligations vest in the executor of a Probated Will.

For this reason a Power of Attorney should not be used to conduct any transactions following the date of death.

I am the executor of a Will, do I have to provide a copy of the Will to anyone who asks?

Often an executor will be approached by a family member, friend or partner of the deceased, and asked to provide a copy of the Will.

The Succession Act provides that any person who has possession or control of the Will must allow certain people to inspect the Will, or be given copies of the Will, at the expense of the person so requesting.

The people who are entitled to view and/or a copy of the Will are as follows:

  • any person named or referred to in the will, whether as a beneficiary or not,
  • any person named or referred to in an earlier will as a beneficiary of the deceased person,
  • the surviving spouse, de facto partner (whether of the same or the opposite sex) or issue of the deceased person,
  • a parent or guardian of the deceased person,
  • any person who would be entitled to a share of the estate of the deceased person if the deceased person had died intestate (see who is entitled to the assets of the deceased if there is no Will),
  • any parent or guardian of a minor referred to in the will or who would be entitled to a share of the estate of the testator if the testator had died intestate,
  • any person (including a creditor) who has or may have a claim at law or in equity against the estate of the deceased person,
  • any person committed with the management of the deceased person’s estate under the NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 immediately before the death of the deceased person,
  • any attorney under an enduring power of attorney made by the deceased person.

An executor should also be aware that the Will of the deceased becomes a publicly available document once a Grant of Probate has been made (and as such is not limited to the above class of people). Upon Grant the Will forms part of the Grant of Probate and can be uplifted and copied from the Supreme Court of New South Wales by any person for a set fee. The public are not able to see the inventory attached to the Grant of Probate as this is reserved for beneficiaries named in the Will.

What do I do if someone tries to contest the will?

Each year Probate Sydney is instructed by executors, beneficiaries and relatives of the deceased person to advise on and act in Probate Disputes. We can provide initial no-obligation advice to executors face-to-face, on the telephone or by email and have experience with complex will disputes in the highest courts of New South Wales. Find out more by clicking here.

To find out more or to get started with the application for Probate simply complete your details by clicking here, or contact us on 1300 4 PROBATE (1300 477 622).

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  My lawyer at Probate Sydney was the most professional and informative person I have ever dealt with. I will recommend Probate Sydney to anyone.  
Bernard from Rooty Hill
  Completely satisfied. Would definitely recommend Probate Sydney to others. We were given professional helpful and relevant service and always kept informed of present situation.  
Doris from Sydney
  Very friendly staff with lots of advice and everything was handled promptly, I would recommend to everyone.  
Ron from Belimbla Park
  Losing a loved one is distressing enough and then having to deal with probate was equally distressing, I wasn’t sure where to turn next. After researching the internet I made a call to Probate Sydney and a huge weight was taken off my shoulders. Speaking to Probate Sydney put my mind at ease and from that point onwards the process was very easy. Th...  
Steve from Karingal
  Probate Sydney acted promptly and efficiently and provided necessary and helpful advice.  
Mark from Drummoyne
  We required your services, Probate Sydney served us extremely well.  
Graham from Balcatta
  Probate Sydney was great to deal with, I live interstate and everything was made easy.  
Allan from Floreat
  The service was excellent – all enquires were answered promptly and accurately – the solicitor who looked after me took the stress out of the process in what can be a daunting experience.  
Barry from Maitland
  The process and service form Probate Sydney was excellent. During an emotional time they were very considerate. Their communication was always up to date and I was always informed. I cannot recommend them enough.  
Maria from Prospect
  Our case has been handled in a very professional and friendly way.  
Baoquan from Rhodes
  Probate Sydney's system works well. The estate of which I was an executor was simple, so no issues or potential problems arose. The benefits I found were a good communication, quick and concise. No hidden problems, openness and above all reasonably priced.  
Cliff from Turramurra
  Probate Sydney was professional, efficient and at the same time compassionate and friendly. At an emotional and sensitive time for us, with the loss of my mother Probate Sydney was reassuring, comforting to deal with.  
Alex from Paddington
  I found Probate Sydney most profession, prompt, helpful and empathetic at all times. I have already recommended Probate Sydney to many people and could not speak more highly of them.  
Roslyn from Kelso
  After the death of my husband, my son and I struggled to cope with our loss. Administrating a deceased estate at such a time is a heart wrenching and daunting prospect but the efficient, attentive and above all compassionate service received from Probate Sydney made it so much easier – my heartfelt thanks to you all.  
Ludmilla from Stanmore
  When Mum died we had no idea what to do, Probate Sydney did everything for us. Probate Sydney were kind, extremely helpful and we were very grateful.  
Narelle from WA
  Every contact with Probate Sydney, either by phone or email was handled professionally, promptly and with care. We were so impressed with how everything was handled given a situation I knew little about. Really well done and most appreciated.  
Paul from QLD
  Despite much sadness I was put very much at ease and made to feel very confident that my legal needs would be adequately addressed at a reasonable cost by Probate Sydney.  
Mark of Oatley
  A very professional team – all steps of the process were explained clearly. Also appreciate that Probate Sydney found ways to cater for us being in a country location. Highly recommended.  
Belinda of Cessnock
  My lawyer communicated throughout the whole process and delivered on everything he said he would do. Probate Sydney made a complicated process stress free which was very important during an emotional time period for us.  
Harry of Cherrybrook
  Probate Sydney was extremely helpful and at the same time most professional in attending to the Probate of my late Husbands will. My lawyer explained everything very well and nothing was too much trouble. Furthermore the cost was very reasonable.  
Ann Marie from Waverley
  Probate Sydney was incredibly efficient and professional. I particularly appreciated that my solicitor was prepared to give advice. The service provided by Probate Sydney was great value for money and made what was a stressful time much easier for me.  
Marylyn from Victoria
  After my mother passed away I was confused and depressed, had no idea how to sort probate and had very little money. Thankfully Probate Sydney made everything so much easier. Very helpful and friendly service at an affordable price. I highly recommend Probate Sydney.  
Kevin from Beverly Hills
  Probate Sydney was sympathetic and aware about my grieving and difficult time I was experiencing. They went above their duty to help me overcome the odds and finish my probate and I am happy to recommend Probate Sydney to a friend or family member.  
Rose from Chiswick
  We still recommend Probate Sydney to this day. Probate Sydney were dealing with Dad's estate and we found them extremely helpful and provided prompt answers in a format that we could understand. We have, and did recommend Probate Sydney to other family members, neighbours and friends well before they had finished dealing with our needs. Thank you s...  
Robyn from the North Coast
  I was very pleased the way things were done. Probate Sydney were very helpful.  
Lorraine from Merrylands.
  When my father died my brother and I were dreading working through the Will, Probate and necessary paperwork. Probate Sydney ensured the process was smooth and efficient, and best of all the fees were reasonable.  
Philippa from Orford
  I was very happy with the way Probate Sydney attended to my needs. The fee structure was clear from the beginning and adhered to. The solicitor was prompt in his replies to my emails and very courteous. There were no problems with my probate and I have been completely satisfied.  
Gilda from Gordon
  Probate Sydney dealt with our matter expertly. Everything went smoothly and according to plan.  
Kevin from Caringbah
  The service I received from Probate Sydney was excellent. All queries answered promptly. Advice given was covered and in plain English. Progress updates were provided on a regular basis and the fees reasonable. I would recommend Probate Sydney to my friends and family members.  
George from Malvern
  At such an emotional time, we as a family, were very pleased with the way we did not have to worry about yet another item to worry about after our father passed away.  
Ulana from Canberra
  Probate Sydney saved me a lot of hassles at a difficult time.  
Lesley from Taren Point
  We are in the country and found the process very easy with no problems. Very happy with the service provided by Probate Sydney, Country people shouldn't be put off by not being in Sydney.  
Vernon from Casino
  The solicitor assigned to our probate application was very helpful and answered all my questions.  
Linda from Western Sydney
  Solicitor was very helpful, communication with us was excellent, very quick process. Thanking you.  
Lorraine from Campbelltown
  Acted with professionalism, kept in touch and communicated well with all executors on the progress of the Probate application. Sensitive in approach. I highly recommend Probate Sydney.  
Marie from the North Coast
  Friendly, professional service.  
Gino from Ryde
  Excellent prompt service and certainly value for money.  
Peter from the South Coast
  Probate Sydney showed complete understanding and compassion, and it was not overdone. Able to offer advice on what may happen, when and consequences.  
David from Blacktown
  The thing that stood out about Probate Sydney was the timely replies to our queries and the no-nonsense approach to the whole exercise. Thanks.  
Lyall from Mooloolaba
  The professional and prompt service I received was very much appreciated. Communication was excellent in keeping me informed of what was happening. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Probate Sydney to friends and colleagues.  
Judith from Sutherland
  I am a first time user of the Probate Sydney service and it has my full recommendation. My will contains instruction for my executor to use your service.  
John of Sydney
  Very helpful, friendly and more than willing to help. I don't think you can improve your service.  
Joseph from Blacktown
  It brought me great ease of mind being able to rely on Probate Sydney to sort everything while I was grieving.  
Jonathan from North Sydney
  Probate Sydney provided a comprehensive service with excellent communication. Clear and helpful advice when needed.  
James from the South Coast
  Our lawyer was very professional in looking after our needs and carried out the work required with a minimum of fuss.  
Len from the Inner West
  We found Probate Sydney's service and experience above standard. Our lawyer showed expertise and handled our case perfectly. Highly recommended.  
Tina from Ryde
  Quick, reliable and good communicators. I felt at ease with every step of the process. It could have been stressful but it wasn’t.  
Louise from the North Coast
  At a very emotional time for us (i.e. death of our mother) everything to do with the estate was handled expediently and professionally.  
Antoinette from the Sutherland Shire
  I think most importantly Probate Sydney gave me that feeling of caring, professionalism and that sense that I was being dealt with fairly by someone in control. In contrast I would have been trying to work my way through an unfamiliar maze. Thank you.  
Chris from Woy Woy
  Service was excellent and the regional offices made it convenient. My solicitor made the granting of Probate a simple matter. Friendly and flexible staff with most transactions completed via email. I have already recommended Probate Sydney to my friends who are at the stage of life that involves the passing of a parent and probate matters.  
Michael of Wollongong
  It is not often that I would write something nice about a firm of solicitors but I do believe that Probate Sydney deserves a good mention. In my first enquiry I was informed of everything I needed to know plus a set price which was a plus. The job was done with no fuss and at the end was less stress on me.  
Ian of Lakesland
  I found Probate Sydney to offer a very professional service at a very competitive price. I was more than pleased with the outcome they achieved.  
Michael from Winmalee
  I was more than happy with the excellent service provided by Probate Sydney. Everything was handled in a professional way and what was totally amazing was the fees were very reasonable.  
Roslyn from Redfern
  Very easy and straight forward to deal with. Probate Sydney explained details in an easy to understand manner and at a reasonable cost compared to the cost quoted by many other firms.  
John from Kellyville
  Probate Sydney provided me with an efficient service at a realistic price.  
Janelle from Sydney
  Probate Sydney were both highly professional and extremely pleasant to deal with.  
Stuart from Woy Woy
  The service provided was exceptional. All efforts were made to make things convenient for me. The service was professional, timely and competent.  
Joseph from Toongabbie
  I had no idea how to be an executor. Probate Sydney led me through the whole thing including probate and the sale of the house etc. Probate Sydney were patient with my ignorance and it all went like a dream. I didn’t have to worry about a thing and can’t thank them enough. The fees were also much lower than I anticipated.  
Monika from Casula
  I thought Probate Sydney were very helpful and professional.  
Leah from Kirrawee
  Our matters were dealt with quickly and no problems what so ever.  
Anthony from West Beach
  I found the service good, prompt, professional and value for money.  
Peter from Sydney
  Probate Sydney were really professional at a stressful time.  
Elizabeth from Queensland
  I was very happy with the way Probate Sydney attended to my needs. The fee structure was clear from the beginning and adhered to. The solicitor was prompt in his replies to my email and very courteous. There were no problems with my probate.  
Gilda from Gordon
  As a genealogist a relatives Will and Testament was required to further my family research. That Will and Testament was found and forwarded in a most professional manner. Most satisfied with the end result. Thank you.  
Ernest from WA