In Australia, each state and territory has distinct rules when it comes to Probate. The overall idea and execution are the same, but the ways of implementing it differ in certain aspects. You might be from New South Wales but became an executor of the Will for someone in Victoria or vice-versa. So you don’t know how long Probate takes in Victoria or NSW. It’s important to know the rules applied in the respective jurisdictions, so that you can carry out your responsibilities efficiently.
Let’s see some of the differences between the rules of Probate in NSW and Victoria.
Deadlines to apply
The major difference between Probate in NSW and Victoria is the statutory deadlines set.
1. Deadline to apply for Probate in NSW
In New South Wales, you must request a Grant of Probate within 6 months following the deceased’s date of death. If you apply after 6 months, you will be required to offer a justification for the delay.
2. Deadline for Probate application in Victoria
Firstly, there is no time limit to apply for Probate in Victoria. However, it is advised to do it within one year from the date of death of the deceased. This initial year is also called ‘Executor’s Year.’
You may even apply after a year, but if you petition for Probate three or more years after the date of passing of the deceased, you must explain the reasons for the delay. The Court will grant Probate only if it finds your reasons justified.
Time Probate takes
As stated before, the major differences lie in the time it takes for each step of the process. Before anything else, it should be noted that the time also depends on the efficiency of the paperwork one submits. So, make sure you submit all that is required with utmost transparency.
How long does Probate take in NSW?
The executor must first post an online notice with the Supreme Court of NSW stating their decision to apply for Probate. The executor must wait 14 days after filing the said notification before submitting a request for Probate. The application will be processed within 20 working days from being submitted.
If there’s any fault in your application, the Court issues a requisition asking to resolve it. Requisitions raised by the Court considerably delay probate applications. In this case, one may seek legal counsel to respond properly to those questions, or else it will keep on delaying. So it’s best to handle them well the first time.
Requisitions must be addressed using affidavit evidence. Once the affidavit in response to the request is submitted to the Court, it’ll take up another 20 business days from your submission. If the response is insufficient, the Court will ask further questions until satisfied. Probate will not be awarded until a request has been adequately answered.
Also, if you fail to request an extension of time to answer a requisition, your application may be denied. After the Supreme Court of NSW has approved the application, the Grant of Probate will be sent out to you the following day and should arrive within 2-4 business days.
How long does Probate take in Victoria?
In Victoria, Probate takes between 18 and 30 days to be granted. This is the typical timeline for simple applications that are filed on time. Once again, the better paperwork you submit, the faster it gets processed.
The typical timeline is as follows:
- Post your intent to apply for Probate and wait at least 15 days.
- Application completed and witnessed.
- Application lodged with the Supreme Court.
- Grant obtained within 5 days.
That’s how long Probate takes in Victoria.
When Probate is not required
Probate is usually not needed in NSW when:
- there are inadequate assets to justify a grant or
- all the assets are under joint ownership.
A Grant of Probate is not needed under these circumstances because the matter is too simple. And in the case of joint ownership, the asset automatically belongs to the other joint owner as per the rule of survivorship.
Probate is not required in Victoria when:
- an estate is small,
- there is no possible trouble from creditors or other people, or
- The parties involved agree unanimously to release assets to the executors without a grant.
These are the major distinctions between Probate in NSW and Probate in Victoria. Apart from these, you’ll find more dissimilarities throughout the process. Some are big, while some are minor; nevertheless, every detail needs proper attention. So, you should always check the rules of the relevant state if you are ever to become an executor or administrator of someone’s estate. The most important of all is to know the relevant deadlines of applications and procedures. Otherwise, it’ll be a big problem.
We hope this gives you valuable insight into Probate in NSW and Probate in Victoria.