Cost of Probate in NSW
Cost of Probate in NSW
The legal and administrative costs associated with applying for a Grant of Probate are scaled according to the size of the estate.
The cost of Probate in NSW in 2020 will incur the following filing fees from the Supreme Court NSW:
- For estates valued at less than $100,000, no filing fee applies
- For estates valued at between $100,000 and $250,000, the filing fee will be $772
- Estates valued between $250,000 and $500,000 will incur a fee of $1048
- Estates valued between $500, 000 and $1,000,000 will incur a filing fee of $1607
- For estates valued between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000, filing costs will be $2141
- Estates valued between $2,000,000 and $5,000,000 will incur a filing fee of $3568
- For estates over $5,000,000, the filing fee will be $5948
As a general rule, probate filing costs increase each year, so be aware that these costs may increase as of July 2021.
Sometimes there are additional actions related to the cost of probate in NSW, which will attract their own, additional fees. These may include:
- Filing the accounts of the deceased estate
- Obtaining a certified copy of the will or grant of Probate
- Depositing the will with the court for safekeeping
- Contesting a probate application
Grant of Probate in NSW
A Grant of Probate is a legal document granted by the court that allows an executor to manage a deceased estate according to the wishes in a will.
When a will-maker passes away, their affairs must be finalised in an allotted amount of time.
A Grant of Probate acknowledges the will is legal and valid, and the executor named in the will is the person executing the will.
Need for a Grant of Probate
There is no statutory requirement to obtain Probate in every NSW case. Depending on the size and value of the estate, Probate may not be necessary, as some asset holders are happy to release small amounts without it.
However, in cases where the estate contains sizable assets including property, shares and other investments, Probate will generally be needed for the release of these assets to the estate.
Legal Advantages of Probate
While it is not always a legal requirement to obtain Probate, it grants the executor the following legal advantages.
Firstly, a Grant of Probate provides the executor with the legal authority to distribute the estate’s assets to the named beneficiaries.
Secondly, it protects the executor from being held liable for certain claims made against the estate.
After Probate is granted, Probate Sydney will publish a notice in the newspaper stating the executor’s intentions to distribute the assets of the estate and settle any debts.
Provided the executor has waited 30 days from the date of this notice’s publication, and 6 months have passed since the will-maker passing, they can now distribute the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries in the knowledge they will be personally protected from any claims made against the estate in the future.
Who Can Apply for a Grant of Probate?
In straightforward cases, where an executor is named to administer the estate, it is their role to apply to the court for a Grant of Probate.
If an executor has not been named, or they have passed away, the principal beneficiary/ies of the will must apply for ‘letters of administration with the will annexed’.
How to Apply for a Grant of Probate?
To obtain a Grant of Probate in NSW, the executor named in the will needs to apply to the Probate office of the Supreme Court. Before proceeding with their application, the executor must publish their intention to do so on the New South Wales Online Registry and wait at least 14 days before filing for Probate.
Applications for Probate should be made within six months of the deceased’s death. If for whatever reason, there is a delay in applying for Probate, the court will require an explanation for the delay.
What Is Included in the Application for Probate?
The application to the Supreme Court for Probate will include the following documents:
- The death certificate
- The testator’s will
- A summons for Probate signed by a legal professional
- A detailed inventory of the estate’s assets and liabilities
- An affidavit from the appointed executor
Upon lodging the application with the above documents, a filing fee will apply. This fee is relative to the size of the estate and may be reimbursed by the estate after Probate is granted.