A person who needs to apply for a grant of representation , either a grant of probate or letters of administration, can use the Probate Office’s service for small estates.
For a fee, the Probate Office will prepare the paperwork to apply for a grant of representation on your behalf, which is called the small estates optional service.
If you are not sure whether you need to make an application for a grant of representation, read about probate and administration.
A small estate is when a person’s assets at their date of death are below the value set by government, which is currently $112,970.
The maximum value of an estate changes each financial year per the table below.
|Date of death between||Maximum value|
|1 July 2021 – 30 June 2022||$112,970|
|1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021||$111,540|
|1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020||$109,350|
|1 July 2018 - 30 June 2019||$107,160|
|1 July 2017 - 30 June 2018||$104,870|
|1 July 2016 - 30 June 2017||$103,340|
|1 July 2015 - 30 June 2016||$101,430|
A small estate application is one where an applicant decides to use the Probate Office’s service that assists people to apply for a grant of representation , called the small estates optional service.
The people entitled to use the service are the executor named in a person’s will, or the next of kin entitled to share in the estate where there is no will. You do not need to meet any eligibility criteria to use the service.
The Probate Office can assist with straightforward applications for grants of representation only. The Probate Office cannot advise you of how to administer the estate, how to manage contentious issues surrounding the estate, or what you are required to do across other government departments.
After you provide the completed application form, you will be advised whether the Probate Office is able to assist.
No. Even if the estate is defined as a small estate, you can lodge an application for a grant of representation yourself via RedCrest-Probate . A step-by-step guide about applying for probate or administration is available, which details how to prepare and file an application.
You need the following documents to make a small estate application:
- a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased;
- the original will of the deceased (if the deceased left a will); and
- details of the assets of the deceased (such as bank account details).
Once you have these documents, follow these steps.
Complete the small estate application form and the small estate credit card authorisation form and email them, along with a certified copy of the death certificate and a copy of the will (if there is one), to
Alternatively, you can post the completed forms, along with a certified copy of the death certificate and the original will, to:
Registrar of Probates
, Supreme Court of Victoria
PO Box 13331 Law Courts VIC 8010
If you need us to provide a paper copy of the forms for you to complete, please phone us on (03) 8600 2006 and we can send them via post.
Once the Probate Office receives your completed forms, we will contact you via telephone to discuss your application. During the conversation, the person you speak with from the Probate Office will:
- advise if the small estates optional service is able to assist you, or whether further information may be required;
- process payment of the advertisement fee and the small estates optional service fee via credit card; and
- discuss whether you would like to attend an appointment after approximately two weeks to have your affidavit (required in support of your application) witnessed, or whether you would prefer a copy of the affidavit to be sent to you via email or post.
After this discussion, the Probate Office will place an advertisement for a grant of representation on your behalf and prepare the affidavit.
Once the affidavit is prepared, it needs to be signed in front of an authorised witness. If you have made an appointment to attend the Probate Office, the affidavit will be witnessed at this appointment. If you have asked to have your affidavit sent to you via email or post, instructions on steps to have it witnessed and details of who is able to witness an affidavit will be provided.
After the witnessed affidavit and original will (if there is one) is provided to the Probate Office, an electronic grant of probate or administration will be issued and sent to you via email. If you do not have an email address, a copy will be sent to you via post. This is the grant that you need to provide to asset holders (such as financial institutions) in order to deal with the deceased’s assets.
If you choose to use the small estates optional service, the following fees are payable:
|Application filing fee||$63.10|
|Fee for small estates optional service||$231.50|
If you decide to file the application yourself, you will only need to pay the advertisement fee and application filing fee.
The two forms below are required to make an application through the small estates optional service:
Once you have completed the forms, email them along with a certified copy of the death certificate and a copy of the will (if there is one) to firstname.lastname@example.org@setatsellams .
Alternatively, you can post the completed forms along with a certified copy of the death certificate and the original will to:
Registrar of Probates
, Supreme Court of Victoria,
PO Box 13331
Law Courts VIC 8010.