Wills, Probate, Estates and Public Trustees

Key Points

  • Having a Will makes it easier for the family members left behind, to ensure they can follow the deceased’s wishes.
  • If there isn’t a Will, then the law (within each State or Territory) will decide where your assets will go, after your death.
  • Be clear about what are considered to be ‘estate’ assets, as apart from ‘non-estate’ assets, when making out your Will
  • Having a Will allows you to appoint someone you trust to act as your ‘Executor’, otherwise the Public Trustee may be appointed as the ‘Executor’.  
  • The ‘Executor’ will need to apply for Probate, which is essentially official recognition that a Will is legally valid and gives permission to proceed with administering the ‘estate’.

The role of the Executor

Often solicitors or specialist trustee companies are named as executors. The executor may have to: collect all the assets and have them valued, if necessary find out what debts are owed and pay them from the money made by selling the assets arrange…

How to obtain Probate?

What is Probate?  –  Probate is essentially official recognition that a Will is legally valid and gives permission to proceed with administering the ‘estate’. An application is made to the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court for a ‘Grant of Probate’. The grant…

Seeking Legal Advice

Seeking Legal Advice  –  If you are a dependent/family member of a person who dies without leaving a Will, or you wish to contest the Will as you believe you have not received a fair share of the deceased’s property under the Will, then you should seek appropriate…

What if the deceased died without a Will?

These rules apply to everyone and do not take into account an individual’s wishes or personal situation. If you die without a Will you are said to die intestate. The word “intestate” is derived from the Latin word “intestatus” meaning a person who…