Frequently asked questions about Probate

Probate and Letters of Administration

What is Probate?

Probate is the process wherein original Wills are lodged in the Probate Office at the Supreme Court of Victoria. Where there is no original Will left by a deceased an Application is made for Letters of Adminisation by an Administrator (rather than an Application for Probate by an Executor named in the Will).

When do you have to apply for Probate/Letters of Adminisation?

There is no absolute requirement to apply for Probate and Letters of Administration as there are no longer any Probate or Estate Taxes.

Applications are necessary where the type of Asset (or the value of the Estate's Assets) require Probate/Letters of Administration to deal with the assets. For instance, if there is real estate the Land Titles Office requires an Executor/Administrator to provide proof of Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration to enable the transmission/transfer of real estate.

In some cases, the type and use of assets may indicate initially that Probate/Letters of Administration should be obtained but the institutions involved may waive those requirements thereby saving time and legal costs.

How much does it cost?

The Court fee to apply for Probate/Letters of Administration was increased to $275.00 on 1 July 2010.

Legal Costs depend on the work done and we can provide an estimate of costs upon receipt of basic information as to the nature and number of Assets and Liabilites.

Commonly legal costs to apply for Probate/Letters of Administration and to generally administer the Will/Estate are in the region of $3,500.00 to $6,500.00.