A Brief Overview of Probate, Wills and Estates
If a person has a will they will have a named executor. That executor cannot begin dealing with the deceased’s assets before they have obtained a grant of probate of the deceased’s last will. A grant of probate is an order from the Supreme Court that in effect states that the executor named in the will now have the right to deal with the deceased’s assets.
Probate is quite a technical area of law and often, if one thing is wrong, you have to start again. The steps involved in obtaining a grant of probate include advertising in the Supreme Court, drafting the court documents such as an originating motion, an affidavit of executor and an inventory of assets and liabilities. Often, an application for a grant of probate is requisitioned by the Supreme Court as they want more information. This is to ensure that the person the grant is given to, is the person the deceased really nominated and to ensure that the correct person administers the estate.
At Wollerman Shacklock Lawyers, we do fixed fees on a Grant of Probate. That fee will depend on the size of the estate, the number of assets and the number of beneficiaries. We will also assist the executor with the administration of the estate so that you do so according to law and in accordance with the undertaking, that the executor has to give to the court in its application.
If you know someone who has died without a will, see our fact sheet on Letters of Administration.