Probate Fees NSW are essentially a tax on estate assets. A grant of probate is a legal document that allows organisations holding the estate’s assets to release them to executors. Executors are the people that carry out a Will’s wishes. The testator (the person who makes the will) or the court can appoint the executor. Probate is a legal process to validate a deceased’s Will.
Therefore, the Supreme Court will recognise a valid Will that underwent probate and the appointed executor. Australia only requires probate and probate fees in NSW when executors are able to provide evidence of their responsibilities. These responsibilities include dealing with the deceased’s property, assets and affairs. This article will discuss probate fees in NSW in further detail.
Probate Fees NSW: Should An Executor Act Alone?
Initially, probate fees in NSW will require an application for probate. This is an important step for executors who are dealing with the loss of a relative or a loved one. Essentially, application for probate is crucial if there are multiple executors. Here are three common ways to apply for a grant of probate:
- Preparing the application alone
- Instructing a solicitor to act for the executor
- Authorising a Trustee Company (NSW Trustee and Guardian)
- Authorising a co-executor or alternate executors
While these are common ways to apply for a grant of probate, some of these pose some disadvantages. An executor preparing an application alone will find it difficult as they may lack the proper details in drafting one. Hence, hiring a solicitor can assist in navigating the procedures especially when legal matters arise.
The NSW Trustee and Guardian does have experience in helping executors apply for probate. However, they too have other clients who need the same service. Therefore, executors won’t get the proper attention and help when they need guidance.
On the other hand, co-executors might make matters more complex if they refuse to cooperate or live farther away. Primary executors can hand over their responsibilities to an alternate executor if they believe they’re unfit for the job. Unlike co-executors, primary executors and alternate executors don’t need to work together.
It may be best to name children as primary executors and the rest of the family members as alternate executors. However, the family’s relationship can affect procedures related to applying for probate and matters related to probate fees in NSW. To conclude, a solicitor is the best option for probate applications and managing probate fees in NSW.
Probate Costs For Larger Estates
If the deceased owns the land as a joint tenant, the property will automatically go to the other person. For instance, the deceased’s spouse. The Land Titles Offices will require a grant of probate for land and estates. This applies if the land or home to be distributed is under the deceased’s name.
Bank And Building Society Accounts
Financial institutions have varied rules that allow access to the deceased’s accounts without a grant of probate for small estates.
Cars And Other Vehicles
The Roads And Maritime Services won’t require a grant of probate. However, they will need the following:
- Certified copy of the death certificate
- Copy of the Will
- A letter from the executor
- Proof of identity
- Certificate of registration
- Application for transfer (Transfer the registration of the deceased’s vehicle)
Generally, a grant of probate will require the executor to release shares for distribution.
Executors will need to contact the institutions concerned and ask whether they require the grant of probate for fund distributions. Furthermore, some types of policy will include a provision for a named beneficiary if the policyholder passes away.
Probate Fees NSW: Application Process And Costs
In NSW, a probate application should be done within 6 months of the deceased’s death. The application will require a valid executor to be over 18. Firstly, an executor must publish a notice of their intent to apply for probate on the NSW Online Registry.
This allows the deceased’s creditors to make an estate claim and provide an opportunity for objections from other parties. Secondly, an executor must wait 14 days after the filing of the application together with the required documents. Here are the documents needed for a probate application in NSW:
- Summons for Probate;
- Executor’s Affidavit
- Original Will and any codicils (written amendments to the Will);
- Original Death Certificate;
- Property Inventory; and
- 2 copies of the Grant of Probate
The cost of a grant of probate in NSW includes a number of fees. This includes an advertising fee, a court filing fee, and a probate lawyer’s costs. Above all, NSW will require an advertising fee in order to publish a notice of intention to apply for probate. The fee for advertising is $48. Here are the NSW probate filing fees as of July 1, 2021:
|Value Of Estate Assets in NSW||NSW Probate Filing Fee|
|Less than $100,000||$0|
|$100,000 – $249,999||$778|
|$250,000 – $499,999||$1,056|
|$500,000 – $999,999||$1,620|
|$1,000,000 – $1,999,999||$2,158|
|$2,000,000 – $4,999,999||$3597|
|$5,000,000 or more||$5,996|
Other private fees in NSW include:
- Document preparation
- Posting the Application
- Court Notices
- Acquiring the original Death Certificate
- Property Valuations
Remember that probate fees in NSW can be reimbursed from the deceased’s estate once a grant of probate is obtained.
A Probate Lawyer’s Fees
Another element of probate fees in NSW are the probate lawyer’s fees. Professional legal advice can be very essential in ensuring efficient and accurate procedure of the probate process. Our lawyers at JB Solicitors offer fixed-fee services for probate matters.
Therefore, clients can gauge the amount they need before obtaining the services of JB Solicitors.
Planning your estate distribution and how your executor will handle probate fees is essential. Consequently, this will also prevent disputes between families and beneficiaries.
Our lawyers can handle Wills and estate planning for people who want to draft credible and legally binding Wills. Furthermore, our seasoned lawyers can draft Wills that can prevent will contests by understanding your best interests.
Contact JB Solicitors today for your legal needs and for more information about probate fees in NSW.