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Probate & Letters of Administration, Simplified

Many people first hear about Probate and Letters of Administration (LOA) when a loved one passes away and they:

  1. Request the refund of an Accommodation Bond (RAD) from an aged care facility
  2. Try to access funds in a bank account to pay funeral expenses
  3. Enquire about transferring the Title of Real Estate.

There is a lot of information about Probate and LOA on the internet, but it is often technical and legally focussed. eziFunerals has partnered with Probate Consultants to explain these legal processes in a way that is straightforward, relevant and practical.

 

Welcome to Probate Consultants

Probate Consultants is a new and affordable consultancy service that is changing the way Australian families apply for Probate and Administration.

 

Thomas Torcello Naomi Dumitru
Co-Founder Probate Consultants Co-Founder Probate Consultants

 

We make applying for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration Fast, Affordable and Easy.

Our innovative and client focussed service operates differently from probate lawyers, in Melbourne & Perth, yet we provide the same legal outcome for our clients. We care about you, your family and the experience you all share in dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Probate Consultants is currently operating in Victoria and Western Australia. We aim to service all of Australia by the end of 2020.

 

Probate Consultants – The Difference

Many people don’t realise that you can apply for Probate and LOA yourself without seeing a Solicitor. The challenging part however, is navigating the complicated forms, filling them out correctly and arranging all the necessary documents for lodgement.

That’s where Probate Consultants come in! We do all the tricky paperwork and processes for you, guaranteeing that your application will be successful or your money back. You get the same legal outcome as seeing a Solicitor, without the expensive legal fees.

Operating as a consultancy in Melbourne & Perth allows us to:

  1. Deliver the same legal outcome as a solicitor – You obtain the Grant.
  2. Avoid charging unnecessary legal fees.
  3. Focus on providing an unparalleled client experienced, where you feel heard, understood and genuinely cared for.

We treat every client as though they were family, because that is how this business began – helping family in Melbourne apply for Probate when they couldn’t afford the legal fees.

It is this genuine connection to our clients, and their individual experiences, that is at the basis of our service.

 

Why Use Probate Consultants?

Probate Consultants make applying for Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration Fast, Affordable and Easy.

 

FAST

We guarantee the fastest possible turn-around times for your application.

 

AFFORDABLE

Probate Consultants operate as a consultancy and don’t provide legal advice, so you don’t pay expensive legal fees. 

 

EASY

Our Founder is an Australian Lawyer who devised the most efficient way for people to apply for Probate and Administration. This allows us to deliver the same result as a solicitor whilst you pocket the savings.

 

SAFE

With a 100% success rate and 5-Star Google Rating, Probate Consultants is fast becoming the preferred choice for families in Melbourne and Perth applying for Probate or Administration.

 

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Probate Consultants make Probate & Letters of Administration Easy

Dealing with the passing of a loved one is never easy. Trying to manage and administer their estate only makes things harder. 

Probate Consultants ensure one aspect of that difficult process is a little less stressful by making it easy, straightforward and convenient to apply for Probate or Administration.

We streamlined the application process into four easy steps:

  1. Speak with one of our dedicated consultants over the phone.
  2. Provide all information for your application online.
  3. Our expert Clerks complete your application.
  4. Lodge the application.

 

Why are Probate and Letters oF administration necessary?

When someone passes away, they often leave behind property, assets and sometimes debt. This is known as their ‘estate’ and it needs to be managed and finalised.

This involves:

  1. Collecting all property and assets.
  2. Paying any debts.
  3. Distributing the assets according to the Will.

Where there is a valid Will, the estate is finalised by the executor, or executors (where more than one is appointed). Often, this process begins with applying for Probate.

Where there is no valid will, the deceased’s closest next-of-kin can finalise the estate. This process may involve applying for Letters of Administration.

 

      Probate

      Letters of Administration

  • There is a valid Will
  • No valid Will
  • Executor(s) named in the Will apply for the Grant
  • Closest next-of-kin applies for the Grant
  • Executor(s) administer and finalise the estate
  • Next-of-kin administers and finalises the estate
  • Property and Assets in the estate are distributed to those entitled under the Will
  • Property and Assets distributed according to the laws intestacy

 

Probate, Simplified

Probate is a legal process where the Supreme Court certifies that:

  1. A will is valid and can be acted upon.
  2. The executor(s) named in the will have the authority to finalise the estate.

 

How Do You Get Probate?

The executor(s) named in a will apply to the Supreme Court for Probate. If the application is successful, they receive a Grant of Probate.

 

What Is Grant Of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued to the executor(s) of a valid will. It is proof of their legal right to administer and finalise the deceased person’s estate (deceased estate).

 

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Letters Of Administration, Simplified

Letters of Administration are issued by the Supreme Court to the person who is legally entitled to deal with the property and assets of someone who has passed away without a valid will. This person is appointed Administrator of the estate.

 

What Happens When Someone Passes Away Without A Will?

Someone who passes away without a valid Will has died intestate. To deal with the property and assets they have left behind, someone who is entitled to benefit from the estate, usually the deceased’s closest next-of-kin, can apply for Letters of Administration.

 

Who Can Apply For Letters Of Administration?

Someone who is entitled to benefit from the deceased person’s estate can apply for Letters of Administration. This is usually the deceased’s closest next-of-kin (spouse and/or children).

The Supreme Court of Victoria provides that you can apply for Administration in the following order of priority:

  1. Lawful spouse or domestic partner.
  2. Children, excluding step children, but including children adopted by the deceased.
  3. Grandchildren.
  4. Parents.
  5. Brothers or sisters.
  6. Remoter next of kin.

Each State has its own order of priority and its own rules around who is entitled to benefit from the deceased estate. You can visit your State’s Supreme Court website for more information.

 

What Happens After Letters Of Administration Are Granted?

If their application is successful, the deceased’s next-of-kin receives a Grant of Letters of Administration.

This is a legal document which appoints them Administrator of the deceased estate and is evidence of their authority to deal with the property and assets left behind.

The Administrator is responsible for:

  1. Collecting all property and assets in the estate
  2. Paying any debts.
  3. Distributing the estate according to the laws of intestacy in the relevant State.

 

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When To Apply for Probate & Letters of Administration

You do not always need a Grant of Probate or LOA to finalise the estate of someone who has passed.

It depends upon a number of factors including:

The nature of the property and assets in the estate.

  • Type, value and how it was owned.

The policies of the institutions holding the property.

  • Banks, financial institutions, aged care facilitates and other organisations.

 

You usually need a Grant in the following situations:

  1. Seeking the refund of an Accommodation Bond (RAD) from an aged care facility.
  2. Transferring title of real estate that was held solely by the deceased, or as tenants in common.
  3. Accessing funds in a bank account over a certain value, usually $50,000.

 

In determining whether you need a Grant you can:

Contact the relevant institutions and ask whether they require a Grant in order for you to deal with the property.

  • If there are minimal assets, you may only need to produce a certified copy of the Will, if there is one, and death certificate.

Contact Probate Consultants on 0401 883 893 for a Free Consultation regarding the estate.

 

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How To Apply For Probate & Letters of Administration

There are four main ways to apply for Probate and LOA:

  1. Apply with Probate Consultants.
  2. Prepare the Application yourself.
  3. Instruct a solicitor to act on your behalf.
  4. Authorise a Trustee Company to act as the Executor or Administrator.

 

How Much does it Cost

The cost involved in applying for a Grant of Probate or LOA depends on:

Court Fee

  1. Filing Fee.
  2. Advertising Fee (if applicable).

How you decide to apply

  1. Solicitor
  2. Yourself – with or without the help of Probate    Consultants.

 

Applying With Probate Consultants

Probate Consultants provide a fixed quote that includes all fees and GST. You have complete certainty over the total out-of-pocket cost involved in obtaining Probate or LOA from the beginning. No surprises.

Our all-inclusive quote includes:

  1. Consulting Fee.
  2. Advertisement Fee (VIC, NSW, QLD).
  3. GST.
  4. Filing Fee.

 

Preparing the Application Yourself

If you were to apply yourself, without engaging a solicitor or using Probate Consultants, you would pay the following:

  1. Advertisement fee (if applicable).
  2. Filing Fee.

 

Applying With A Solicitor

There is no standard cost that solicitors charge for preparing applications for Probate and LOA. Fees vary from practitioner to practitioner and practice to practice.

When considering a price quote from a Solicitor, ensure the following has been included to avoid any surprises in the final bill:

  1. GST
  2. Costs & Disbursements
  3. Advertisement Fee
  4. Filing Fee
  5. Other

Often lawyers will provide a quote for their professional fee only, excluding any GST or the administrative costs involved. This can add hundreds of dollars to the final bill.

 

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Filing Fees In Your State

Each State has its own Filing Fees when lodging applications for Grants of Probate or LOA.

Some States have different fees depending on the total value of the estate, whilst others have a fixed fee for all applications.

Follow the links below for the current Filing Fees in each State:

 

Melbourne, Victoria

Perth, Western Australia

Sydney, New South Wales

Brisbane, Queensland

Adelaide, South Australia

 

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How Long Does It Take To Obtain A Grant Of Probate?

The length of time to obtain a grant of probate will vary in each State.

 

Melbourne, Victoria

With Probate Consultants, most Grants are received within 30 days. This is the fastest possible turnaround times given the application time frames provided by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Application Timeline:

  • Intention to apply for Grant advertised online.
  • Application lodged on 15th day after advertisement is published.
  • Grant received within 5-10 business days.

 

Perth, Western Australia

Application Timeline:

  • Application can be lodged 14 days after date of death
  • No Advertising
  • Grant received within 4 weeks from lodgement.

 

Sydney, New South Wales

Application Timeline:

  • Intention to apply for Grant advertised online.
  • Application lodged on 15th day after advertisement is published.
  • Grant received within 20 business days.

Probate Consultants will be launching its service in Sydney, New South Wales soon.

 

Brisbane, Queensland

Application Timeline:

  • Intention to apply for Grant advertised online.
  • Application lodged on 15th day after advertisement is published.
  • Grant received within 4 – 6 weeks.

Probate Consultants will be launching its service in Brisbane, Queensland soon.

 

Adelaide, South Australia

Application Timeline:

  • No Advertising
  • Grant received within 6 weeks from lodgement

Probate Consultants will be launching its service in Adelaide, South Australia soon.

 

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Disclaimer – Although Probate Consultants try to assist as many as people a possible, they can only take on clients whose applications are straightforward and don’t require legal advice. Your eligibility for the service will be determined during the Free Consultation.