When a person dies, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled, for their estate to be finalised.

If the deceased left assets in South Australia, the deceased’s Legal Personal Representative (LPR) – usually the appointed executor in the deceased’s Will, may need to apply to the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court of South Australia to obtain a grant to act as administrator of the deceased’s estate.

In some cases, it may not be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate, as it depends on the type, size, and value of the assets. For example, if the deceased held assets in their sole name worth less than $50,000 in value. Another example is when real estate assets are held in a joint tenancy. A Grant of Probate is also not required if there is no will, or if there is a will but no appointed executor. In such cases, another type of grant is required called Letters of Administration.

The minimum documentation required to make an application for a Grant of Probate includes:

  • The original Will and any codicils (additions that change the Will in some way);
  • A true and complete copy of the original death certificate;
  • Details of the assets and liabilities of the deceased person as at date of death (including those located interstate or overseas); and
  • Payment details for the lodgement fee.

Once probate is granted, it signifies the court’s official recognition that the deceased person’s Will is the most recent version and complies with our laws. It also recognises the executor named in the Will as the LPR of the deceased, whose responsibility it is to finalise the deceased’s estate in accordance with their wishes and the law.

A certified copy of the grant will often be required by financial or other institutions to prove the LPR is authorised by the court to administer the estate. Moreover, without a grant Land Services SA will not process a transfer of the deceased’s sole interest or an interest as a tenant in common, in real estate. A grant will also be required if a third party brings a claim against the estate.

As deceased estate administration is an onerous responsibility which requires an understanding of the law and court procedures; and can potentially lead to personal liability and damages arising from negligence, it is often best left in the hands of a solicitor. Scammell & Co is one of SA’s leading providers of deceased estate services.

For further information about deceased estate administration and the duties of the executor please follow the link here