A Grant of Probate is Not Always Required
Bank Thresholds for a Grant of Probate
A Grant of Probate is not always required to release funds held by a Bank in Australia. Each Bank has a different threshold in which money from a deceased estate generally can be released without a Grant of Probate. Each threshold is set by the Bank and is subject to change at the Banks discretion. From our previous experiences we have indicated each Banks threshold on the following diagram for ease of reference:
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 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 of Probate.
Property (House or Unit)
The Queensland Land Titles Office (DNRM) will allow the transfer of property without a Grant of Probate if the deceased has a valid Will. Executors should be aware if they intend on selling a deceased estate house or unit to receive money instead, the house / unit must first be transferred into the names of the executors (called a transmission application). Thereafter, the executors can enter into a contract of sale on behalf of the estate of the deceased. More Information
Shares are generally registered with share registries. The two most common share registries are Link Market Services and Computershare. If you are able to find a previous statement relating to the shares owned by the deceased it will tell you which share registry applies. From our previous experience with Link Market Services their threshold when a Grant of Probate is not required is $15,000, with Computershare their threshold is $25,000.
There are not different types of Grants of Probate for different assets
If any financial institution requests a Grant of Probate to release one type of asset, for example money in the bank, then the same Grant of Probate 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 Probate (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 Probate
Generally the minimal timeframe it takes to obtain a Grant of Probate is 8 weeks for a standard probate 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 of Probate 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 probate application. The booking deadline for the next edition of the Queensland Law Reporter is Monday at 3pm which is in: