I read with interest an article about a prominent politician being granted probate on the estate of her former partner, against the wishes of his children.
What is a Grant of Probate?
A Grant of Probate is a form of Grant of Representation, which grants a person the right to administer the estate of the deceased and carry out their wishes in their Will. Another kind of Grant of Representation is a Grant of Letters of Administration, which is granted if the deceased died without a Will. If you think you may have to apply for Grant of Representation, I have prepared answers to some commonly asked questions which may assist you.
Who can apply for a Grant of Representation?
Who can apply for a Grant of Representation depends on whether it is a Grant of Probate (if the deceased had a Will) or a Grant of Letters of Administration (if the deceased did not have a Will and therefore died intestate).
If the deceased had a Will, the Executors named in the Will can apply for a Grant of Probate. If the Executors are unable or unwilling to act and there are Reserve Executors named in the Will, they are able to apply for the Grant of Probate. If someone other than an Executor or Reserve Executor is applying for a Grant of Probate, they can apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration with the Will.
If you are applying for a Grant of Letters of Administration, you will need to sign an affidavit stating in what capacity you applying for the Grant, for example, as the spouse of the deceased.
When must I apply for a Grant of Representation?
Before you can apply for a Grant of Representation, you must obtain the original Will (if there is one) and the original death certificate. If there is no Will, you should contact a solicitor and obtain legal advice before you proceed. Once you have the original Will and death certificate, you can then apply for a Grant, so that you can start administering the deceased’s estate.
What does applying for a Grant of Representation involve?
Applying for a Grant of Representation involves applying to the Court for the right to administer the deceased’s estate. Click here for my guide to obtaining a Grant of Probate in Queensland. Essentially, it involves advertising your intention to apply for the Grant, notifying the Public Trustee of your intention to apply for the Grant, completing affidavits to provide to the Court to apply for the Grant, and then receiving the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration and completing the administration of the deceased’s estate.
Do I need to go to Court?
Generally, you will not have to appear in Court to apply for a Grant of Representation. You are able file your application by post and unless there is an issue with the Grant, such as a challenge to your application or an error, your application will usually be successful.
Completing an application for a Grant of Representation can be a demanding process. If you have any questions about applications for a grant of probate or administering an Estate, please contact me.