Probate is the legal process that confirms the true and last testament of a deceased person. The first step in the process of administering the estate of a deceased person is seeking the grant of Probate. The Probate Registry determines the validity of a Will and grants its approval allowing for the distribution of assets that make up the estate. Probate is required when property, and in some cases cash only assets if generally above $50,000, make up an estate. Probate may not be required if assets are held in joint names.
The Probate Registry in South Australia has long been criticised for being slow and outdated. Seeking a Grant of Probate or Administration requires various legal documents to be prepared, signed and lodged with the Probate Registry. Depending on the complexities and the number of other applications waiting to be processed, up until now it could take between 4-10 weeks for Probate to be granted.
The Probate Registry of the Supreme Court of SA will be moving to an on-line system for managing probate applications. This should see a dramatically faster services being provided by the Probate Registry. The Registry have suggested that by March 2019 the processing time should be within a week for Probate applications.
Since Monday 15 October 2018, the Probate Registry stopped accepting new paper applications and will only process those received prior to Friday 12 October 2018. The Registry are now not receiving any applications until Monday 26 November 2018, when only those lodged electronically through the CourtsSA portal will be accepted.
If you have any questions about Probate or the Administration of a Will, Peter Fisher Lawyers have over 25 years experience in advising on Estate Administration matters, and have the right people to help you through this process. Call us on 8296 2690 to speak to one of our friendly Wills and Estate Lawyers.