icon-facebook icon-instagram icon-pinterest icon-soundcloud icon-twitter icon-youtube

What is the statutory legacy?

An amount determined by section 70M of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 that a partner of a deceased is entitled to as part of their entitlement if the deceased leaves a partner and a child or other issue who is not the child or other issue of that partner.

What is the amount of the statutory legacy?

The date of death determines the applicable statutory legacy amount. From 1 July 2023, the amount of the statutory legacy is $539,100. The statutory legacy was introduced on 1 November 2017. Previous statutory legacy amounts are as follows:

Date of death Statutory legacy amount
1 November 2017 – 30 June 2018  $451,909
1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019  $461,780
1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020 $471,240
1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021 $480,700
1 July 2021 - 30 June 2022 $486,870
1 July 2022 - 30 June 2023 $499,210

For deaths prior to 1 November 2017, it is suggested you obtain legal advice to determine who is entitled to share in an estate.

Which death certificate is required?

A certified copy of the death certificate must be exhibited to the affidavit in support of any application for a grant of representation

If the death has been registered with Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria after 11 July 2022, a certified copy of the "Death Certificate - Cause of Death" must be exhibited to the affidavit in support. 

Please contact Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria for further information about obtaining death certificates.   

What is an executor?

A person appointed by the will to administer the estate. A will may appoint more than one executor.

What is an administrator?

A person appointed by the Court, by an official document called ‘letters of administration’, to administer a deceased estate that has no executor. This may be because there is no will, the will did not appoint an executor, or a named executor is unwilling or unable to act. The Court usually appoints the deceased person's closest relative as administrator.

What does an executor or administrator do?

They must make sure any debts, including funeral expenses, are paid and that any remaining assets are distributed according to the deceased's wishes (where there is a will) or the laws of intestacy (where there is no will). Intestacy is a legal term that refers to the situation when there is no will. The laws of intestacy are contained in the Administration and Probate Act.

Sometimes the tasks of paying debts and distributing assets can be done informally. In some instances, however, it may be necessary to obtain a grant of probate or letters of administration (collectively referred to as grants of representation) before these duties can be completed.

What are letters of administration?

A document issued by the Court where the deceased has not left a valid will.

Who applies for letters of administration?

If the deceased has not left a valid will, the deceased person’s closest relative(s) who are entitled to share in the estate usually make the application for letters of administration. Determining who is entitled to share in a deceased's estate where there is no valid will can be quite complex.  Complete the questionnaire in relation to the deceased's relationships at their date of death for guidance on who may be entitled to share in the estate, who should make the application, and what to include in your affidavit in support.  

What is a grant of representation?

This gives a person the legal right to administer the estate of a deceased person. Probate and letters of administration are together referred to as ‘grants of representation’.

Is there a time limit on applying for a grant of representation?

No. However, if more than three years have passed since the date of death of the deceased, you need to explain the delay in your affidavit.

What is probate?

Probate is the process by which the Court approves that the will is valid and that the executor(s) can act on the will.

Is it necessary to apply for probate/administration?

The Court does not determine whether or not probate or administration is required to deal with a persons estate and there is no automatic requirement to apply for probate or administration when someone dies.

Whether probate or administration are required will depend on what assets have been left solely in the name of the deceased, and the requirements of institutions holding those assets.

Who applies for probate?

Usually a trustee company or a solicitor acting on behalf of the executor(s) makes an application for probate, but an executor can do the process without legal help if they prefer. To apply for probate, you must be aged over 18 and be an executor named in the will.

Where do I apply for probate?

You apply to the Supreme Court of Victoria, but only if the deceased’s assets are located in Victoria. If there are assets in another location, you may need to contact the relevant court.

How do I apply for probate?

Applications for Probate are made via RedCrest-Probate.

Will the Court keep the original will after probate is granted?

Yes, the Court keeps the original will.

What is included in a person’s estate?

Any real estate and/or personal property and debts that need to be managed and finalised.

How long does it take for probate to be granted?

It may take several weeks for the application to be granted from the date you apply (noting that you can only apply after your advertisement has been on the Supreme Court website for at least 15 days).

Why do I need to publish an online advertisement?

The advertisement is the start of the application process (whether or not the deceased left a will). It gives all interested people a chance to contact you if they have important information about your application.

How do I publish my online advertisement?

See the information on our website. Click on ‘Wills and Probate’, then ‘Applying for a grant of probate or administration’. Step 3 in the process has more information.

How can I add or change information in my advertisement?

You can change the information in the generated advertisement at the step called ‘Advertisement’, before you click ‘Submit’. Apart from full stops and commas, do not include any punctuation or symbols, such as / \ : or ;. For example, instead of 1/12 Collins Street, put Level 1, 12 Collins Street.

After publishing my online advertisement, when can I apply to the Probate Office?

You must allow at least 15 days, after publishing your online advertisement, before filing your application for a Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed.

How do I get a copy of a will?

For information about obtaining a copy of a Will, please visit the searching probate records page.

Can I store my will at the Supreme Court for safekeeping?

Yes. An application to deposit your will for safekeeping is made via RedCrest-Probate.

What is a caveat?

A caveat is a warning placed on a court file that prevents the Court from granting probate or administration. For more information on caveats, refer to Order 8 of the Supreme Court (Administration and Probate) Rules 2023.

Filing a caveat could result in legal costs being ordered against the caveator. If you are considering filing a caveat you are encouraged to obtain legal advice.

How do I file a caveat?

A caveat is filed via RedCrest-Probate.

When can a caveat be filed?

A caveat can be filed in relation to a deceased person’s estate after that person has died and before a grant of probate or administration has been made. 

Does a caveat expire?

Yes, a caveat expires 6 months after it is filed. 

However, if the Registrar of Probates gives notice pursuant to rule 8.02 of the Supreme Court (Administration and Probate) Rules 2023, the caveat expires 30 days after the notice is given, unless a grounds of caveator's objection is filed or the Court orders that the caveat does not expire.

How do I withdraw a caveat?

A caveat can be withdrawn by filing a withdrawal of caveat via RedCrest-Probate.

What are grounds of caveator’s objection?

Grounds of caveator’s objection is a document which sets out the caveator’s objection(s) as to why a grant of probate or administration ought not be made. 

Grounds of caveator’s objection are filed by a caveator via RedCrest-Probate.

What is a caveat summons?

A caveat summons is a document which enables an application for probate or administration to be listed for hearing before a judicial officer. 

A caveat summons is to be filed via RedCrest-Probate after grounds of caveator’s objection have been filed.

Where can I get more help and information?

More detailed information and contact details for Probate staff can be found on the Wills and Probate page. If you have a general question, Probate Office staff may be able to assist. However, the role of the Probate Office ends when a grant is issued. Our staff cannot give advice on how to administer an estate. Seek legal advice if you need help with this.