When is Probate Required in South Australia?


The Administration and Probate Act 1919 sets out the laws regarding probate in South Australia. Probate is the process of will approval, therefore, it is essential to have a will in order to apply for a grant. This ensures that the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court of Australia validates the deceased’s last will. The payment of any debts or dues to the creditors are then made once this process is carried out. 

Although, certain very small estates might not require a grant of probate however, large amount of cash and property such as land cannot be transferred or sold in the absence of a grant. 

There are various preparations and presentation of documents involved while obtaining the grant of probate at the Probate Registry of the Court. These documents include the executor’s oath, the original will, a draft of the grant of probate and an affidavit mentioning all the assets and liabilities. Also, in majority of cases, the grant is offered without any court hearing. 

Given below is a more detailed discussion on how and when do you require to have a probate application in South Australia 

Letter of administration: 

Usually, the testator appoints an executor or a trustee in his/her will however, in cases where an executor has not been appointed or the executor dies or is unwilling to look after the estate, then an application has to presented for the grant of letter of administration. Moreover, this process is quite similar to that of receiving a probate where the original will is supposed to be presented with the application. 

If the testator died before 26 June 2014 then the administration bond is also lodged along with the other documents required. This bond provides the guarantee that the administrator will look after the estate with regards to the laws pertaining to the will having either two sureties or an insurance company as the guarantor. If the applicant selects private sureties then they must have assets in their name with a value equal to at least that of the deceased’s estate. 

Only a single surety is required in cases where the spouse is appointed as the administrator. Whereas, in some cases a special affidavit can be completed and lodged to avoid any bonds. The letter must also be applied where there is no will or an invalid will. 

Executors and trustees: 

A person can play the role of both an executor and a trustee where the former has to collect all the assets under the estate, pay bills and dues and distribute the estate correctly among the beneficiaries while the latter has to perform continuing duties such as paying for trusts for the support of children. 

The executor is supposed to firstly pay all the funeral expenses, the legal expenses, any statutory obligations and all the debts of the testator before distributing the estate. The will might also state as to which part of their estate would be used to pay the debts and other expenses. 

Usually, the residuary estate is used for such purposes and if there is not enough money in this estate then certain gifts in the will are used to pay these costs. 

The process of probate application in South Australia: 

The application for Probate in South Australia is made online where you must be above the age of 18 and named as the executor as per the will. 

  • Documents needed to file for probate:

These documents include the original will, original death certificate and statements of all the assets and liabilities under the estate.

  • How to file for probate:

The process of application for a probate in SA takes place online where you need to login and register to the CourtSA account and complete the grant application. You are also supposed to carry a print of the original will coversheet along with the original will to the Probate Registry at the allotted time. Appropriate identity document proofs are also required during the appointment. A credit card is used to pay for the entire application process. 

Is it necessary to have a probate?

Every individual is not capable of having a huge amount of assets and liabilities as some of them might pass away by leaving only a small and a simple estate behind. 

In cases where the property is jointly owned between two people, the existing registered proprietor is eligible to transfer the entire property own their name without the need to have a Grant of Probate where the most common case is that of a spouse as the joint tenant. 

However, a grant of probate is required where the testator’s assets and liabilities are present in financial institutions, shares or real estate as being listed as common tenants. It is therefore essential to take legal advice from a solicitor on whether a grant of probate is required or not and how to administer the estate effectively. 

Therefore, it is advisable to appoint a legal probate expert to make the process of application of probate in SA smooth. Hence, we at Probate consultants offers the best services for all your probate related needs at the most affordable prices. We hope you found this blog helpful however, if you want to gather more info regarding our services, check out our site and get in touch with us today.

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