Probate is the official proving of a Will and registering it in the Supreme Court of South Australia as the last valid will of the deceased person.
While executor(s) can apply for Probate directly, it is normally completed by a lawyer on their behalf, due to the complexity of the application.
Do I need Probate?
To determine if Probate is required a lawyer will assess the nature of assets and any requirements of institutions holding those assets. For example, most financial institutions will require a Grant of Probate for assets with a value over $50,000.
A Grant of Probate is not required if all the assets of the deceased are held as joint tenants. For example, if a couple have joint ownership of a house (their only asset) Probate is not required if one of the spouses passes away.
If the deceased owns real estate in their own name or as a tenant in common, Probate will always be required.
Applying for Probate
In the past, the application for a Grant of Probate involved lodging documents in paper form at the Probate Registry. This included Affidavits, Oaths and other documents.
On 26 November, 2018 Probate transitioned to an electronic system. All applications are now made using the Court SA Portal. While the process normally took 6 weeks or longer we are finding that we are receiving Grants of Probate in a shorter time frame.