Services

Probate

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You may need to see a lawyer if you have been named as the executor of a Will.
When someone dies, having made a valid Will, the named executor will need to “step into the shoes” of the deceased person in order to administer their estate and distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries.

The first question your lawyer should go through with you, as executor, is whether you need to make an application to the Supreme Court of Western Australia for probate. In some situations, you will need to seek a grant of probate but in many cases this is not necessary.

Whether or not a grant of probate is necessary, you should ensure that you understand your duties as executor before commencing work. When money is at stake, you may find you are being criticised, even when your intentions may have been altogether good.

We can advise you about your duties and whether to apply for probate in a set price appointment. This may cost as little as $50.00.

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Your Questions Answered

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If you are named as an executor, you need to “step into the shoes” of the deceased person in order to administer the estate and distribute the assets of the deceased person to the named beneficiaries.

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Yes, the Probate Office is an office of public record and you can pay a fee (which is currently just over $40.00) to obtain a copy of:

  1. A Will; and
  2. A Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.

If you need assistance in relation to any of the above matters, we provide 30 minute appointments for $50.00 or, for more complex matters, one hour appointments for $100.00.

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We are often asked whether the government will take all the person’s assets or whether the Public Trustee is appointed to act. Neither is true in the vast majority of cases.

In this situation, there is a legal process by which a close relative or spouse can apply to the Supreme Court of Western Australia for letters of administration. Like an executor, you will “step into the shoes” of the deceased person and administer the estate and distribute the assets – not in accordance with the Will – but in accordance with the law.

Like an executor, it is important that you fully understand what is expected of you and have a proper grasp of your duties and responsibilities. Because you must distribute the estate in accordance with the law, you must also understand what that law is. The relevant law is set out in the Administration Act 1903.

This application is more complex than an application for probate and you should you seek the assistance of a lawyer.

While we have a set price for this work, there are some circumstances that can arise from time to time that require additional work. We will try to anticipate all likely issues from the start and will let you know of any additional costs before they are undertaken.

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This is an application which is made to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in circumstances where there is a Will but the named executor is unable or unwilling to act as executor.

In these circumstances, a named beneficiary or all of them may make an application for an order that the estate is distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with the Will.

This application is more complex than an application for probate and you should you seek the assistance of a lawyer.

We can assist you at a set price. Please ask us about this at your appointment.

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In certain circumstances, you may wish to make an application for probate without the assistance of a lawyer.  When making that decision, you should bear in mind that you may be grieving at the time and may therefore benefit from the guidance and reassurance of an expert to assist you.

Also, be aware that the cost of a solicitor will usually be paid by the Estate and not by you, personally.

Finally, it is most important that you understand that there are legal duties and responsibilities that you bear in undertaking the task of an Executor, which extend beyond making the application for probate. And remember, where money is concerned, you may find that you are being criticised even when your intentions are altogether honourable.

In undertaking the duties and meeting the responsibilities of an executor, it may not only be reassuring but of considerable assistance to have the benefit of legal advice. To make this service easier for our clients to access, we offer a 10% discount on the standard costs of a probate applications when the will was prepared by NashClavey-Mandurah. The current set price is currently $2,200.00, which means a saving of $220.00. This is more than the standard cost of a simple will!

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It is not always necessary to obtain a grant of probate from the Supreme Court of Western Australia and one of our solicitors can assist you in determining whether this legal process needs to be undertaken at all.

Usually, if you have superannuation entitlements, your superannuation fund will require a grant of probate before distributing those funds to the nominated beneficiaries.

There are some circumstances when a grant of probate is not necessary.

We can assist you review the Will in a short $50.00 initial consultation to let you know what you need to do in relation to both your duties and whether or not you require a grant of probate.

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