How to Apply for a Grant of Probate

by The FindLaw Team

When a person has died, there are many legal formalities that need to be met in order for an estate to be properly administered by an executor – starting with a grant of probate. 

By granting probate, the courts have legally recognised that the executor is free to administer the estate according to the wishes of the deceased, without interference. 

The procedure for a grant of probate

First and foremost, in order for an executor to make a successful application for probate, there must exist a valid will. If the deceased did not produce a will – or a will was written – but no executor has been appointed, then a letter of administration is required before the estate can be distributed. It is essential that a valid will is available for a grant of probate to be me made in order for an executor to properly distribute the assets and property to the beneficiaries. 

After it has been established that the deceased has left a will, the executor must publically advertise in a newspaper the intention to apply for probate after 14 days from the date of publication. By publicising that an application of probate will be made, allows another person to contest the application if there is evidence of a later will that may have been produced by the deceased.

What documents must be submitted for an application for probate?

When making an application for probate, there are certain documents that need to be filed with a Registrar before probate is granted. Generally speaking, the documents needed to be filed are as follows:

  • a death certificate
  • a summons signed by a legal practitioner
  • an affidavit from the executor
  • a list of the deceased person’s assets and liabilities
  • a copy of the newspaper advertisement of the intention to apply for probate.

The contents of an affidavit should have a statement in support of the application, and that there is no foreseeable reason why a grant of probate should not be successful. Additionally, the affidavit should state that the estate will be administered in accordance with the law. 

What happens if probate is granted?

If all the necessary requirements are met, the Supreme Court will grant probate which allows the executor to gain legal title of the assets of the deceased, and to carry out the wishes of the deceased in accordance with their will.

Readers should be mindful that an application for probate is a complicated process, and that you should always seek the appropriate legal advice. 


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