When we meet a client who has been appointed as an Executor under a Will, the most frequent question we are asked is – how long will it take to obtain a grant of probate?
Sometimes, by the time the Executor has come to us, they are fairly well organised and really just want the process to be over as soon as possible. But that is not always the case (nor need it be).
The current court processing times advised by the Supreme Court of NSW for issuing a grant of probate where the application is straight forward is up to 7 working days. The Supreme Court of NSW website provides handy basic information setting out the process involved when seeking a grant of probate from the Court. A link to the Court’s website is here: http://www.supremecourt.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/sco2_probate/sco2_probate.aspx.
The main cause of a delay is usually the gathering of assets and other required documents. We recently posted a blog about the likely assets to be gathered (click here for link). The documents that the Executor needs to provide as part of the probate application include the original will (assuming the deceased died testate) and the original death certificate. It is also very useful if the Executor compiles a list of the assets, including identifying information and better still is if old bank statements and the like are to hand. It is then the lawyer’s role to liaise with the various institutions and compile a comprehensive list of the assets held and gain an understanding of the other requirements to be met by these institutions to release the assets.
Our role at the start of the process is to assist you to think about the likely assets held by the deceased, provide suggestions for gathering that information and to retain these in readiness for drafting the probate application and lodging the Court.
Do you need help with acting as an executor to obtain a grant of probate? Are you confused about the deceased’s assets and where to begin? If so, please call us on 02 8005 3955 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; we would be happy to help and make this smooth and simple process as possible.
Carolyn Morley – Senior Lawyer and John Kettle – Solicitor Director