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What is probate?

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In the unfortunate event of someone close to you passing away, there are a handful of things that need to be done in order to allow the deceased's wishes to be carried out correctly.

Even if the person who passed away had a Will set up, things may not be as simple as just following those instructions. If they had any significant property that they were the sole owner of, a process called probate may need to be followed.

What is probate?

Probate is essentially a court order that says the Will is valid and needs to be executed. The probate (also called a Grant of Probate) process can vary by state and relevant guides to each state can be found at in this article.

Is Probate Necessary for Me?

You may be wondering if probate is necessary for you in your current situation, as it is not always crystal clear.

Usually, if assets were owned only by the deceased person (not a jointly owned asset such as a joint bank account or house), the financial institution may require a grant of probate before they release the assets to be distributed according to the Will.

If the assets were jointly owned or had another person's name as an owner as well, probate is usually not required, as the assets can be transferred to the 2nd owner.

Who Applies for Probate?


The executor of the will is the person who will need to apply for a grant of probate from the Supreme Court. Is it typically best practice to have a lawyer help with the application of probate as the application can be a bit complicated.

How Do I Apply for Probate?

If you are the executor of a Will and have determined that you need to apply for probate, exactly how to do it will depend on what state you are in.

While the probate process can be complex, it is necessary to ensure the Will of your deceased loved one is carried out properly so don't put it off!

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BernieJanuary 22, 2018

    I am a dual executor. The other exec is the main beneficiary. Our lawyer has just arranged for the car to be transferred into the other execs name (6 months since death). Was it legal to drive this car before this paperwork was completed? Thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairMarch 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Bernie,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison and general information service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalized financial advice. I would recommend best to get in touch with the supreme court of your state.

      All the best,
      Zubair

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