“What is the latest cost of probate in NSW as of 2022 and the current filing fee for each estate size?” is a question that some people may ask themselves when dealing with a deceased estate. Executors or other relevant people may need to obtain probate so they can start with distributing the deceased’s assets and property.
Executors are the people responsible for administering an estate in accordance with the deceased’s wishes in his/her Will. Probate filing costs may change each year so it’s important to check in the Supreme Court of NSW’s website annually. Here is the cost of probate in NSW according to the Supreme Court of NSW’s filing fees:
Supreme Court of NSW’s Filing Fees and Probate Costs
|Filing Fee Cost
|less than $100,000
|No filing fee
|$100,000 or more, but less than $250,000
|$250,000 or more, but less than $500,000
|$500,000 or more, but less than $1,000,000
|$1,000,000 but less than $2,000,000.00
|$2,000,000 or more but less than $5,000,000.00
|$5,000,000 or more
Additional factors and other fees to consider when obtaining probate and the filing fee from the supreme court:
- Accounting for the deceased estate (Assets costs and property valuations)
- Obtaining a certified copy of the Will or a grant of probate
- Depositing fees for the Will’s safekeeping
- If people want to contest to challenge a Will
- Additional court fees like notice of intended distribution ($49) and file retrieval fee ($147)
Cost of Probate NSW: Grant of Probate and Its Importance
Probate is the legal process of validating a Will, or the official proving of a Will. This ensures that the deceased’s bank accounts, real estate, and financial investments are properly and legally distributed to rightful beneficiaries. The NSW Land Registry or Australian banks typically require probate if they hold the deceased’s remaining finances and properties.
Hence, they may never release the estate’s assets if a Will didn’t undergo probate. Furthermore, to release the deceased’s exit entitlement, retirement homes almost always require a Grant of Probate. When talking about the probate costs in NSW, an individual can initiate probate with or without a Will.
When a person passes away without leaving a Will, he/she is said to have died intestate. An intestate estate’s probate process includes distributing the decedent’s assets in accordance with state laws. But who can handle an estate if there is no Will? The Australian government appoints an administrator for this type of case. It’s not necessary to obtain probate if the deceased has no assets.
When Is Probate Not Required?
1. If the Property Is Held as Joint Tenants
Probate is not required for assets held as “joint tenants.” For instance, the deceased person may have owned a home as a joint tenant with their spouse or de facto partner. The deceased’s share of the jointly-held asset is not officially part of their estate. Their share directly goes to the surviving joint tenant without the need for Probate. The same rule similarly applies to any other jointly held asset including:
- Bank accounts
- Automobiles and;
- Other assets
2. Low-Value Assets
As mentioned in our table above, probate filing fees in NSW for estates valued below $100,000 is zero and won’t require probate. The total gross value of the assets must be less than this cap before obtaining probate or acquiring letters of administration. Letters of administration is a legal document granted by the courts that permits a person to have access to a deceased’s estate.
Cost of Probate NSW: Probate Accounting
Let’s say you are the administrator or executor of a probate estate for a deceased friend or relative. One of your most important responsibilities is to provide the Supreme Court with probate accounting. Probate accounting is the most important part of valuing the estate of a deceased since this will help in knowing the probate costs in NSW. Here are the three phases of probate accounting:
Firstly, it’s important for executors and administrators to prepare and file an inventory form with the Supreme Court. This includes a list of all of the deceased’s property in the estate which will then establish the estate’s gross value. Here are important things to include when valuing an estate:
- The house of the deceased
- Any properties, buildings, or land
- Money in banks, building societies, or savings stored at the deceased’s house.
- Stocks and shares
- Personal household items like furniture, paintings, jewellery, gadgets, and vehicles
- Foreign assets
- Money that the deceased is owed
2. Keeping Records
As the estate administration advances, administrators and executors will need to keep records of all income received and expenses paid. This includes assets sold or acquired, dating back to the original inventory. Some assets, such as stocks and bonds, may gain or lose value. Here are some factors that may also affect probate fees in NSW:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Credit card debt
- Utility bills
- Property taxes
- Mortgage and car payments
- Maintenance bills
3. Final Accounting
The final accounting is a form submitted to the court that summarises the financial changes that have occurred since the initial inventory. The final accounting will include the basic information from the inventory as well as the total amount of funds received and total disbursements, including distribution to the beneficiaries.
It will also list the sale of any assets listed in the inventory. If a property was sold for less than its appraised value, an explanation may be required. If a beneficiary believes the final accounting is inaccurate or that any transaction was improper, he or she may file an objection. A beneficiary may also file a petition or complaint if the final accounting is not filed on time.
What Else Can Beneficiaries Do In A Probate Matter?
Apart from objecting to the final accounting of a deceased’s estate, beneficiaries and other people also have the right to contest or challenge a Will. People contest a Will when they feel that they are receiving the wrong amount or perhaps they want a larger share from the deceased’s estate. Meanwhile, people challenge a Will when they think the Will is made with undue influence, hence invalidating a Will.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice About Probate Filing Fee
Are you unsure about the probate costs in NSW and/or about valuing a deceased’s estate? What if there are beneficiaries who want to contest or challenge a Will? How much is a solicitor’s professional costs? All of these questions may cause a lot of confusion and disputes among family members and friends of a deceased.
JB Solicitors can help executors or administrators identify the right value of a deceased’s estate in order to proceed with a smooth probate application and execution process. Whenever there are Will contests or challenges, our lawyers can also aid with our mediation and arbitration services.
Contact our law firm today for more information about the probate cost in NSW and filing fees.