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Understanding Probate

By: Formbys Lawyers 24 June 2020 no comments

Understanding Probate

If you need a Probate lawyer, finding one who has over 40 years’ experience practising in Estate and Probate law, can only be a good thing.

When someone dies, their estate must be dealt with.  Normally, the executor of their Will, handles the disposal of their assets and pays their debts and distributes the estate. 

When faced with the emotional, and at times, stressful responsibility, of unravelling a loved one’s lifetime of assets & liabilities, it is understandable you may want help.

What is Probate

Probate is a legal process, proving and registering, in court, the last Will of a deceased person. 

The Grant of Probate is a certificate, issued by the Probate Office of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, certifying the Will is a valid will and the named executor is the Executor of the Will and is the person with the authority to administer the estate.

Why do you need Probate

The Will details the deceased’s wishes, on what they want to happen with their estate after death. 

The Grant of Probate is a document which allows the Executor to transfer assets from the deceased’s name, to the executor’s and then for the Executor to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries.

Once you have the Grant of Probate you can then sell or transfer property and other assets. There may be a need to collect rent from rental properties, manage income on behalf of the estate or pay debts owed by the deceased.  Every estate is different and, what must be done will vary.

What do I do first, if I need Probate

The first thing you will need is the death certificate and the original Will of the deceased.  If it is damaged, you can still get a grant of probate but there is an extra step involved.  Once you have located the Will, keep it safe until you can take it to Formbys office.

In some cases, the person nominated as executor by the deceased person’s Will cannot or does not want, to be executor or, the deceased did not name an executor.  All this means is the process will be different.

Formbys will provide advice on how to apply for Grant of administration appropriate for you, call our office to make an appointment.

How long does Probate take in Western Australia

The WA Probate office presently takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks to process an application for a Grant of Probate once it is lodged at the Court.  It depends on how busy the Court office is.

It can take longer, Formbys will warn you if there are likely to be problems or a delay in obtaining a grant when you have provided the documents and information needed to apply.

Why do I need a Probate lawyer

An experienced Probate lawyer can provide advice and understands what is required, relieving stress at an emotional time and saving you time and money. 

Having a Probate lawyer can save you time and money

As part of dealing with an estate, you may need to liaise with multiple share registries, financial institutions, superannuation funds or deal with conflict that may arise among relatives of the deceased, Formbys can help with all this. 

More complex issues can arise for example, family disputes, overseas assets, a missing Will, whatever your circumstances Formbys can help.

To make an appointment with Harry Formby, to discuss an application for a Grant of Probate, Letters of administration or for general legal advice on estate administration, you can email admin@formbyslawyers.com or call 9354 0300 Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm.

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