Probate lawyers Melbourne & Ballarat

When a loved one passes away, it can be a stressful and emotional time. This can be even more challenging if you’re the executor of the deceased’s will. You may need to apply for a Grant of Probate in Victoria and then manage the distribution of their assets. Our wills and probate lawyers are based in Melbourne and Ballarat and can explain what you need to know.

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What is Probate?

Even if your loved one passes away with a will, a Grant of Probate may be required. This is where you ask the court to say their will is valid. Probate gives the executors the ability to look after the estate, distribute financial assets to the beneficiary or beneficiaries and follow through with the wishes the deceased laid out in their will. It can also help the executor if there is any litigation over the will.

You don’t always need to obtain a Grant of Probate, particularly if the deceased’s assets aren’t of high value. If the deceased didn’t leave a will, you may need to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration instead.

If you’re not sure if probate is needed or are confused about the process, our wills and probate lawyers can help you. We have solicitors located in Melbourne and Ballarat.

What if there was no will or the will isn’t valid through probate?

If your loved one passed away without a will or a court determines that their will isn’t valid, the executor will need to apply for Letters of Administration. Letters of Administration are granted by a court and give the executor/s the ability to manage the deceased’s estate. A solicitor can help you with your application, and a lawyer can also explain the process so that you understand what you need to do.

How to apply for Grant of Probate

Before applying for a Grant of Probate, you’ll need make sure you have a few documents, including:

  • A copy of the deceased’s original will;
  • The original death certificate; and
  • A summary of all the assets and liabilities in the deceased’s estate.

The assets will need to be valued at the date the deceased died and may include property, cash, shares, business interests, jewellery or anything of financial or sentimental value. If you’re not sure whether you have all the information or how to value them, our wills and probate lawyers can help you gather the right documents and make sure that you have everything you need.

The actual process of applying for a Grant of Probate can be confusing, but there’s no need to worry. Our solicitors can explain what needs to be done and even do some of the important tasks for you.

Before you apply for a Grant of Probate, you’ll need to advertise that you intend to do so on the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Probate Online Advertising System for 14 days. You may also need to check whether anyone has lodged a caveat against the will as this could give rise to litigation. Our probate solicitors can help you do these searches and explain what this means to you.

Once you’ve advertised, you then have a limited period of time to file your Application for Probate to the court. Our wills and probate lawyers are based in Melbourne and Ballarat and can help you complete your application in time and represent you in court.

How MNG Lawyers can help

We are a wills and probate law firm with offices in Melbourne and Ballarat. Our wills and estate lawyers understand that the process of applying for probate can be confusing, particularly when you’re dealing with the emotional stress of losing a loved one. That’s why we take the time to explain the process to you in plain English.

Our solicitors can help you plan your application, put together information about the deceased’s assets, gather information about their will and make sure you complete all the legal documents correctly. We can even help you make the application, assist with any legal disputes and explain what it will cost you. Our wills and probate lawyers will guide you through every step of the probate process and then help you determine how to carry out the deceased’s wishes in their will as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Grant of Probate is required in some circumstances but it isn’t always essential. It’s generally only needed if there is doubt over whether the will is valid, like if the deceased made more than one will, or if the value of the deceased’s estate is significant.

If you’re unsure about whether you need to apply for a Grant of Probate in Victoria our lawyers for wills and probate can advise you on what you need to do to protect your loved one’s assets. If you do need to go to court, our wills and probate solicitors are based in Melbourne and Ballarat and can guide you through the process and help you deal with the paperwork.

Generally, an executor should start the process of applying for probate within three months of your loved one passing away, and finalise the estate within about a year of their death.

If you don’t apply for a Grant of Probate in Victoria, the deceased’s assets may not be able to be distributed to the beneficiaries and it may also affect creditors who have a claim to the deceased’s estate. If there’s any doubt over whether the deceased’s will is valid, failing to apply for probate may also give rise to legal action if someone contests the will.

If you’re not sure whether you need to apply for probate, or need to make an application quickly, our will lawyers in Melbourne and Ballarat can explain the process to you and put together the necessary documents.

When you apply for a Grant of Probate, it can take six weeks or more for your application to be granted. Your application can be delayed if you don’t provide the Supreme Court of Victoria with all the necessary documents for probate or details of the estate. Probate may also be delayed if there are some significant issues that put the validity of the deceased’s will in doubt, like if someone is contesting the will.

Gathering all the information you need to apply for probate can be costly. But there’s no need to be concerned as the deceased’s estate should generally cover these costs. Our wills and probate lawyers can help you put together everything you need for your application and we’re conveniently based locally in Melbourne and Ballarat. We won’t even invoice you or charge a fee until after you’ve been granted probate by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Get in touch today, always in confidence.

We’re here to help. It’s our top priority to ensure your needs and concerns are met every step of the way.
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