What is Probate? Updated for 2023

Probate is an order given by the Probate Supreme Court that states that the Will has been proved to be the last Will and Testament of the deceased.

Probate allows the executor to collect and distribute the estate in accordance with the Will maker’s wishes. Probate is only granted when there is a Will and comes in one of two forms, either “common form” or, if there is a dispute, “solemn form”.

The probate process involves submitting the deceased person’s will to the Probate Supreme Court, along with a probate application. The court will review the will to ensure its validity and verify that the appointed executor is suitable to handle the estate’s affairs. If everything is in order, the court will grant a probate order, which officially authorizes the executor to manage the estate.

It’s important to note that not all estates require probate. The requirement for probate can depend on factors such as the value of the estate, the type of assets involved, and whether there are any disputes among beneficiaries or potential challenges to the will’s validity.

Each Australian state and territory has its own laws and regulations governing the probate process, so the specifics may vary slightly from one jurisdiction to another. If you are dealing with the probate process in Australia, it’s advisable to seek legal advice or consult with a professional to ensure that you understand and follow the relevant procedures correctly.

The executor is then responsible for carrying out the deceased person’s wishes, paying any debts and taxes owed, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as specified in the will.