A Step-by-Step Guide to Probate in Queensland

The term ‘probate’ frequently arises when discussing the administration of a deceased person’s estate—phrases like “We’re just waiting for the probate of mum’s estate” or “The bank has asked us to get probate before we can disburse grandad’s estate.” are common. But what exactly does probate entail in Queensland, and is it necessary? Here, we provide a concise overview of probate, who needs it, and what it involves.


What is Probate?


Probate is the legal process in which the Supreme Court confirms the validity of a deceased person’s will and grants the executor the authority to administer the estate. This process is essential to ensure that the estate is distributed according to the will and to settle any debts and taxes.


Who Needs Probate?


Not all estates require probate. Whether probate is needed depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the type of assets involved. Generally, if the estate includes significant assets like property or sizable bank accounts, share portfolio or the assets were owned only by the deceased person probate is necessary. However, smaller estates or those with jointly held assets may not require it. It is also recommended that probate is applied for if there is a concern about litigation or someone contesting the will.


Applying for a Grant of Probate


Applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration can be a complex process. Many choose to engage a solicitor or the Public Trustee to handle the application on their behalf. Here’s a brief overview of the steps involved: 

As of 24 November 2017, you need only advertise your intention to apply for probate in the Queensland Law Reporter (QLR). The wording for the advertisement is specified in UCPR Form 103 – Notice of intention to apply for grant. Detailed guidance on this process is available on the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland (ICLRQ) website.


Notify the Public Trustee


A copy of the notice must be sent to the Public Trustee by post, fax, email, or delivered in person. After the Public Trustee receives the notice, you must wait seven days before filing your application. For example, if they receive your notice on Friday 13 March, you can file your application from Monday 23 March onwards.

After your notice appears in the Queensland Law Reporter, wait for 14 clear days to allow any objections to your application. You can file your application on the 15th day, provided the registry is open. If objections arise, a caveat can be filed, halting the process until resolved.


Prepare Your Documents


Prepare the necessary documents for your application, ensuring they comply with the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999. The documents required will vary depending on whether you are applying for a grant of probate, letters of administration with a will, letters of administration without a will, or a reseal of a grant of probate.


Submit your application and supporting documents, including the original Will at the nearest Supreme Court registry to where the deceased resided. Registries are located in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townsville, and Cairns. There is a filing fee, which is detailed in the Uniform Civil Procedure (Fees) Regulation 2019.


After Lodging Your Application


Once your application is lodged, court staff will examine the documents. If everything is in order, the grant of probate will be issued, allowing the executor to administer the estate.

Navigating the probate process can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Engaging professional help can ensure that the process is handled smoothly and efficiently.


How Long do you have before you need to apply for Probate


There is no strict timeframe, by which executors must have applied for Probate but if they do not act in a timely fashion and in the best interest of the beneficiaries they could be in breach of their fiduciary duty.


Claim Your Complimentary Consultation


At NB Property Law, we understand the intricacies of probate and are here to assist you through every step. Whether you’re dealing with a complex estate or just need some guidance, our team is ready to help. Contact us today to claim your complimentary consultation and let our experienced solicitors provide you with the support you need during this challenging time.


Reach out to us at NB Property Law to schedule your consultation and ease the burden of estate administration. We look forward to assisting you.



Written by Kayleigh Swift, Director

Kayleigh Swift is the Director of NB Property Law, where she also showcases her expertise in Commercial and Residential property matters. Prior to joining NoBorders Law Group, Kayleigh was part of a commercial property team in a mid-sized firm and held a position in a local council’s property department.

Kayleigh Swift
[email protected]
(07) 3876 5111





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