Supreme Court of Western Australia

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Probate

Probate

The Supreme Court deals with all matters involving wills and the administration of deceased estates. This includes appointing a person to deal with a deceased person's property following death. The Court does so by making the following grants

  • Probate - where a person has died leaving a will that nominates a person as executor the Court may grant Probate to that person.
  • Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed - where a person has died leaving a will that does not name an executor or where the only executor named in the will is unable or unwilling to apply for a grant of Probate, the Court may grant Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed to an appropriate person who will usually be a beneficiary of the deceased's estate.
  • Letters of Administration - where a person has died without leaving a valid will the Court may grant Letters of Administration to an appropriate person who will usually be a beneficiary of the deceased's estate.

Probate, Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed and Letters of Administration are documents issued by the Court which are the official evidence of the executor’s or administrator's authority to deal with the deceased person's property. Banks and other financial institutions, Landgate, and share registries may refuse to allow any dealings in relation to a deceased person's property until the Court has made a grant.

An application must be made to the Court to obtain a grant. The type of application required will depend on whether the deceased left a valid will and if so, the terms of the will, or whether the deceased died without leaving a valid will. This can be a complex area of the law and applicants will often require the assistance of a lawyer.

The Court has prepared the attached FAQs to provide assistance to non-lawyers who are considering whether to make an application to the Court in relation to the estate of a deceased person. The FAQs cover the following areas:

  • The different types of applications that may be made in relation to a deceased person's estate
  • When an application for probate may be required
  • When legal assistance will be required
  • The preparation of documents required for an application to the Court
  • The Court's on-line Probate application form
  • Particular issues that may arise in an application for a grant of Probate
  • The Court's Probate office and the assistance it may give to applicants
  • Fees
  • How applicants may respond to matters raised by the Court after an application is made
  • Useful contacts

It is strongly recommended that as a first step, you read the FAQs carefully. If there are matters that you do not understand or if your particular query is not covered in the FAQs, then you should seek legal advice. Please do not contact the Court or the Probate office for legal advice or to assist you with any application that you wish to make or that you have made.

Other Probate resources

Non-contentious Probate Rules 1967

Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages - www.bdm.dotag.wa.gov.au

Citizens Advice Bureau - www.cabwa.com.au

Landgate - www.landgate.wa.gov.a

For legal assistance or help to find a lawyer - www.lawsocietywa.asn.au

Community Legal Centres - www.communitylaw.net

Public Trustee - www.publictrustee.wa.gov.au

Last updated: 15-Apr-2013
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