Applying for a grant

The process for getting a grant to administer an estate 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 and 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

On and from 24 November 2017, you will only need to advertise in 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, 26.0 KB).

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

Post, fax, email or deliver the notice in person. Phone the Public Trustee on 1300 360 044 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 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 registrar sends a notice to the person lodging the caveat and the applicant.

If a Form 118 - Notice in support of caveat (DOC, 28.5 KB) is not filed before the deadline, the registry can re-examine the application. Alternatively, you can file a Form 119 - Notice of withdrawal of caveat (DOC, 26.5 KB).

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, or the grant can be posted back to you. If you have filed your documents by post, you must provide a stamped, self-addressed A4-sized envelope, if the grant is to be posted back to you. Note: The grant cannot be folded to fit a regular envelope.

Time frame

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

Cost

Your costs will include:

  • advertising fees
  • court filing fees
  • the fee for obtaining the original death certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Your costs may include:

  • payment for document preparation
  • the solicitor’s fees (if you have engaged one)
  • postage.