It’s distressing to lose a loved one. Taking care of their legal and financial matters can be even more difficult. Probate comes into being after the death of a person, thereby giving way to multiple questions in the minds of relatives or friends of the deceased.
Probate is a legal process for settling the affairs and distributing the assets of a deceased person. Understanding this procedure can be daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with the legal requirements.
The article aims to help you better understand the Probate process and address some of the most common questions about applying for a Probate application in Western Australia. Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding & Addressing the Most Common Questions About the Probate Application
Ques #1 What is a Probate Application?
A Probate application in Western Australia is the process of applying for a Grant of Probate. It is to be filed by the Executor with the Supreme Court of the city where the descendant lived at the time of their death. Filing for a Probate application is generally the first thing you should do after the death of a loved one. Once the Probate Court approves the application, the Executor can begin the transfer of assets from the decedent to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will or under state law.
Ques #2. Who can Apply for a Probate Application?
A person named as an Executor in the will of the deceased can apply for Probate and they have to be 18 years or older.
If there is no will, then anyone interested in the estate (as per inheritance law) can apply to administer it, including children, spouses, and even grandchildren.
Ques #3. When Should I apply for a Probate Application in Western Australia?
To file for the Grant of Probate, you should apply within 6 months of the death of a person. A delay in the process will only increase the inconvenience to the will’s beneficiaries of the will and might lead to disputes. It also places the Executor at the risk of losing the authority to administer.
If you do not file your application within 6 months, you will need to get special permission from the Supreme Court to explain the delay.
Ques #4. How to apply for a Probate Application in Western Australia?
The Probate Application is a step-by-step process. It takes time, patience and some effort to get through it. To get through it, you need to take these steps:
- The first step is to publish a legal notice to make sure that creditors or people have the chance to make a claim. You can do this by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.
- You have to share a copy of this publication with the Public Trustee.
- After 14 days of publishing the legal notice, the Executor shall apply the petition for a Probate grant in the Supreme Court. Submit the petition and supporting documents like the death certificate, the original will, the affidavits, etc.
- The approval of the application acts as proof of authority for the Executor to handle the transfer process of the deceased’s estate.
- Now the Executor shall begin with the distribution process.
Ques #5. How Long Does it Take for the Approval of the Probate Application?
After submitting the petition, the court generally takes 4-6 weeks for approval. In case of a missing document or an error, you might receive an official mail to rectify it, resulting in an additional delay in approval.
Ques #6. What documents do I need to submit with my application?
Below is the list of documents required to be filed and the Probate application in Western Australia. Additional documents may be required if asked by the Court:
- Application for Probate
- Original will along ( and 2 photocopies)
- Death certificate ( and 2 photocopies)
- Notice of intention to apply for the grant
- Affidavits for each document
- Exhibit Certificate
Ques #7. Can Beneficiaries see the will before Probate?
The Executor has the authority to refuse the beneficiary to see the will before Probate. The legal right of the beneficiary to see the will arises only after the grant of Probate.
Ques #8. Why Should I Hire a Probate Specialist in Western Australia?
The Probate process can be complex and confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with the legal system. Probate consultants help guide you through this process and ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Taking help from a Probate service specialist would be the best choice when:
- When there are multiple heirs involved, the help of a specialist might be a good idea to avoid arguments.
- A large estate or foreign property can make the process more complicated and time-consuming, which can only lead to delays.
- You do not have the time or knowledge to proceed with the legal process.
Probate Consultants are knowledgeable of the laws in Western Australia and will cover every step of the process. It will help ensure that no important detail is missed, resulting in delays or unforeseen problems.
Ques #9. What is the Cost Associated with the Probate Process?
The application for the grant of Probate generally involves:
- Publishing Fee for the Legal Notice.
- The Application filing fee to the Court.
- The fees for obtaining the original death certificate.
- Other expenses like asset valuation fees, solicitor’s fees, and photocopies.
Ques #10. How long Does the complete Probate Process take?
The timeframe for the complete settlement depends on the size and complexity of the estate involved and how soon the procedure is started. It takes an average of six months to one year to complete from the date of the person’s death.
Applying to have someone placed on a Probate is not a difficult task. As long as you have all of the right information on hand and know how the application process should work, this can be one of the most straightforward legal matters you ever need to deal with.
We hope that this article has helped you understand and address some of the most common questions about applying for a Probate application in Western Australia.