It is advisable to act quickly and obtain a Grant of Representation – either Probate or Letters of Administration. This helps eliminate the possibility of bank accounts being accessed illegally and funds being fraudulently obtained before the accounts are frozen.
For a Grant of Probate – the Will must be valid, it must be the last Will of the deceased and applicant needs to be aware that the Will may be contested on the grounds of the deceased’s capacity or that the deceased was under undue influence at the time of writing the Will.
Probate is a document issued by the Supreme Court certifying that the Will is valid and confirms the appointment of the Executor.
The necessity to apply for Probate is dictated by the asset holder. The Titles Office will not permit land dealings where the title stands in the name of the deceased without production of Probate. Some banks and aged care facilities will not release the assets without the production of Probate.
Letters of Administration are required when a person dies without leaving a Will (intestate). As in the case of Probate, the necessity to obtain Letters of Administration is again dictated by the asset holder. Usually the next of kin, be it a spouse, domestic partner or child, make the application to the Supreme Court.