PROBATE IN QLD – what exactly is a Probate?

Dec 09, 2023

Understanding Probate in QLD

When a loved one passes away, dealing with legal matters can be overwhelming. Yet, understanding the process is crucial to manage the deceased person's estate properly. One term you will likely encounter is Probate. But what exactly is a Probate or a similar Grant? Let's demystify this term and its implications in Queensland (QLD).

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal process that verifies a will's authenticity and confirms the executor's authority to manage the deceased's estate. It involves the Supreme Court, which grants the Probate upon the executor's application. Once granted, the executor can distribute the assets as per the will's instructions.

When is Probate Required?

In QLD, Probate is not always compulsory. It depends on the type of assets and their value. For instance, if the deceased owned real estate solely or jointly as tenants in common, Probate is usually required. Financial institutions may also request a Grant of Probate for large sums of money.

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The Probate Process

Obtaining Probate involves several steps. First, the executor must locate the original will and identify the estate's assets and liabilities. Then, they need to publish a notice of intention to apply for Probate on the QLD Courts website and wait for at least 14 days.

Application for Probate

After the notice period, the executor can lodge the application for Probate, including the original will, the death certificate, and an inventory of the estate's property. Once the court is satisfied, it issues the Grant of Probate.

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What if There's No Will?

If a person dies without a will (intestate), or there's a will but no appointed executor, a similar Grant known as Letters of Administration is required. The process to obtain this Grant is similar to Probate, but the court needs to determine who is eligible to administer the estate.

Probate and Estate Administration

Once the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is obtained, the executor or administrator can pay the deceased's debts and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. They must also lodge a final tax return on behalf of the deceased.


While dealing with Probate or similar Grants can be daunting, understanding the process can help simplify estate administration. It's always advisable to seek legal advice to ensure the process is handled correctly and efficiently. Remember, the role of an executor or administrator carries legal responsibilities, so it's crucial to understand these before proceeding.

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