Applying for a grant

The process for getting a grant to execute a will can be complicated. If you wish, you can engage a solicitor or the Public Trustee to apply for you, usually for a fixed fee.

There are five basic steps to apply for a grant of probate, grant of letters of administration of the will, grant of letters of administration on intestacy.

For more details, see Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999, Chapter 15, rules 596–643.

Note: All forms must be typed, not handwritten.

Step 1: Advertise your intention to apply

Place an advertisement in the public notices section of both:

  • a newspaper either:
    • circulating throughout the state (of the deceased’s last known residential address if in Queensland that will be the Courier Mail) or
    • approved for the area of the deceased’s last known residential address. Refer to Supreme Court practice directions 2/2014, 14/2014, 18/2014, 31/2014 and 4/2015
  • the Queensland Law Reporter—contact the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting on (07) 3236 1855 or at enquiries@queenslandreports.com.au.

The wording for the advertisement is outlined in Form 103 - Notice of intention to apply for grant (DOC, 28KB).

Step 2: Give a copy of the ad to the Public Trustee

Post, fax, email or deliver the notice in person. Phone the Public Trustee on (07) 3213 9288 or visit their website for contact details.

Wait until seven days after the Public Trustee receives the notice to file your application. (For example, if they get your notice on Friday 13 March, don’t file before Monday 23 March.)

Step 3: Give people time to object

Wait for 14 clear days after your notice appears in the newspaper and the Queensland Law Reporter to enable people to object to your application.

You can file your application on the 15th day. If the registry is closed that day, file on the next day the registry is open. (For example, if the notice appears on Friday 13 March, you can’t file before 30 March.

Anyone claiming to have an interest in the estate can file a caveat (objection). If they have evidence, the court won’t make the grant of probate until the claim is resolved.

After a person files caveat, examination of the estate stops until the caveat process is completed. The registry sends a notice to the person lodging the caveat and the applicant.

If no one files a Form 118 - Notice in support of caveat (DOC, 27KB) before the deadline, the registry can re-examine the application. Alternatively, you can file a Form 119 - Notice of withdrawal of caveat (DOC, 25KB).

Step 4: Prepare the documents for your application

If you don’t have a solicitor acting on your behalf, you must prepare the documents yourself.

See the minimum documentation required to apply for a:

Your documents must comply with the requirements in the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999.

Step 5: File at the Supreme Court

At this point, you can file your application and supporting document at the Supreme Court; either in person or by post.

To reduce processing time, file the documents in the Supreme Court nearest to where the deceased person lived.

Supreme Court registries are located at Brisbane, Rockhampton, Townville and Cairns.

There is a fee for filing the application with the Supreme Court. See Uniform Civil Procedure (Fees) Regulation 2009 under the ‘Administration of estate section’ schedule.

After you lodge

After you lodge the application, court staff examine the documents and, if everything is in order, issue the grant.

The grant can then be collected. If you have filed your documents by post, you must provide a stamped, self-addressed A4-sized envelope, and the grant will be posted back to you. To ensure speedy delivery, you should provide an Express Post envelope.

Time frame

Once you file the application in the court, the grant should be ready in approximately four weeks. If there are any problems and you’re issued a notice of requisition, court staff will contact you by email or letter (if you don’t have an email address).

Cost

Your costs may include:

  • advertising fees
  • court filing fees
  • postage
  • the fee for the original death certificate issued by the Registrar General
  • payment for document preparation
  • the solicitor’s fees (if you have engaged one).

Advertising fees vary, so you should contact the relevant newspaper about its charges.