Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration
Often Banks and other financial institutions will state they require a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. A Grant of Probate applies when the deceased had a Will, Letters of Administration generally applies when the deceased did not have a Will. Families should apply for the relevant Grant based on whether the deceased had a Will or not.
A Grant of Letters of Administration is Not Always Required
Bank Thresholds for a Grant of Letters of Administration
A Grant of Letters of Administration is not always required to release funds held by a Bank in Australia. Each Bank has a different threshold but generally deposits up to the total of $15,000 can be released from Banks without requiring a Grant of Letters of Administration if the family of the deceased can establish their relation and have the Death Certificate.
Retirement / Nursing Home Bonds
Generally retirement / nursing homes place within the terms and conditions of their contracts a clause that states words to the effect that following a death a bond will not be released until a certified copy of a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration is provided. If you do not hold a copy of the contract, generally a retirement / nursing home can be approached and they will confirm whether or not they will release monies without a Grant.
Real Estate - House or Unit
A house / unit owned by the deceased can be transferred with the Queensland Land Titles Office on the condition that the value of all the assets, including money and other assets, in the estate as at the date of death are under $300,000 and six (6) months has passed since the date of death of the deceased. More Information
It is common for Superannuation Funds not to release superannuation benefits and included life insurance payouts to parents or siblings of the deceased until a Grant of Letters of Administration is obtained. Generally if a Grant of Letters of Administration is requested to prove personal representation of the deceased's estate then there is little room for negotiating out of it.
There are not different types of Grants of Letters of Administration for different assets
If any financial institution requests a Grant of Letters of Administration to release one type of asset, for example money in the bank, then the same Grant of Letters of Administration can be used to release every other asset (if also required). It is a process of simply providing a certified copy of the Grant of Letters of Administration (by a JP, CDec or Solicitor) to each institution that requests a copy of the Grant.
It takes about 8 weeks to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration
Generally the minimal timeframe it takes to obtain a Grant of Letters of Administration is 8 weeks for a standard application. This figure takes into consideration that the Queensland Law Reporter requires bookings 1 week in advance, waiting 2 weeks after publishing Public Notice in the newspaper, 4 weeks processing time by the Supreme Court Registry and up to 1 week for the Supreme Court Registry to perfect the Grant certificate.
We recommend making the earliest edition of the Queensland Law Reporter as it is only published once per week with bookings required a week in advance. As a result if you miss the earliest edition of the Queensland Law Reporter it can take up to 2 weeks to be published in the next edition delaying your application. The booking deadline for the next edition of the Queensland Law Reporter is Monday at 3pm which is in: