Why do I need to apply for Probate
Most banks have a policy in place that they will not release funds without sighting a grant of probate. Some banks will release funds in cases where the amount held in the account is small and generally this is around $5,000. Where the amount is greater than $5,000, the bank would consider releasing the funds but this can take time. In most cases, the bank will want the following:
- detailed list of the estate’s assets and liabilities.
- the full details of all executors and beneficiaries;
- an indemnity from a person, in which that person will indemnify the bank in the event there is a claim;
- the reasons for why no application for a grant is being sought.
Where the deceased held investments with a number of companies, even though they may be of comparatively small value, the usual procedure is to obtain a grant as the formalities required by the companies in lieu of production of a grant normally outweigh the benefit of administering the estate without a grant.
As a general rule major public companies permit dealings without sighting a grant of probate provided the value of the shareholding in the company as at the date of death does not exceed $10,000 or in some cases $15,000.
Parties holding assets of a deceased whether banks, building societies or the like, are far more likely to release funds to an executor appointed by the deceased’s will than to an entitled administrator. In fact, it is not usual for an intestate’s estate of any size to be administered without a grant.
A deceased’s interest in land (freehold/Crown leasehold) can usually be dealt with without the necessity for a grant. If the deceased died intestate, provided the gross estate does not exceed $150,000, no grant will be required to register a transmission by death in favour of the person entitled to a grant of representation. The Registrar of Titles may insist on a grant being obtained. As a matter of practice the Registrar will not insist on a grant unless particular difficulties exist in respect of the will or the right to a grant on an intestacy.