What is Probate in Victoria?
An executor is the person (or people) appointed in the Will of a deceased person to carry out their wishes in accordance with the terms of their Will. Often, before an executor can undertake any of these tasks, they will require a Grant of Probate. A Grant of Probate is the formal authorisation from the Supreme Court of Victoria for the executor(s) of an estate to deal with the deceased person’s affairs.  This can include:
- collection of the deceased person’s assets;
- payment of the deceased person’s debts; and
- assume responsibility of the deceased person’s legal matters.
Similarly, if a deceased person passes away without a valid Will, the person(s) who seek to administer their estate will be subject to the same requirements. In these situations, the grant of representation to an estate is referred to as ‘Letters of Administration’.
When do I Need a Grant of Probate?
A Grant of Probate will not always be necessary to administer a person’s estate. Generally speaking, a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will be required in the following scenarios:
If the deceased owned real estate in their sole name, or as a tenant in common, a Grant of Probate will be necessary to enable the executor(s) to transfer the property to the deceased’s beneficiaries or otherwise sell the property.
However, if the deceased owned real estate jointly with another person, that property will automatically transfer to the surviving joint owner(s) without the need for a Grant of Probate.
You may need to seek legal advice to determine in what manner the deceased held ownership of property.
Banks, Share Registries & Other Financial Institutions
If the value of the deceased’s assets (e.g. shares or funds in a bank account) exceed a threshold set by a particular asset holder, a Grant of Probate will often be required. That threshold will often depend on the requirements of that particular asset holder. For example, a particular asset holder could be a bank. In our experience, banks have requested the production of a Grant of Probate to release the deceased’s funds, ranging from $20,000.00 to $50,000.00.
How Can DSA Law Help?