Have you noticed that you no longer see a legal notice in the paper notifying that executor(s) of an Estate intend to make an Application for Probate in the Supreme Court?
Probate is an Order by the Court stating that an executor named in a deceased person’s Will is entitled to administer the estate.
Probate is not required in all estates and depends upon the type of assets held by the deceased.
All probate notices (including a Notice of Intention to Distribute an Estate) are now required to be published online.
How could this affect you?
If for example you run a local garage/mechanical repair business and “Jimmy Jones” has been a customer for many years. You recently carried out extensive repair work on his vehicle. You are about to render an invoice for the repairs when you are told that “Jimmy” has passed away.
Unfortunately Jimmy has died before he had a chance to pay your Invoice.
As Probate Notices are no longer published in the local newspaper you are not alerted to the fact that the Estate is being administered and soon the Estate will be distributed to the beneficiaries.
What about payment of your Invoice?
There is a way to keep a check on Estates that are applying for a Grant of Probate and it is FREE.
Anyone can log on to https://onlineregistry.lawlink.nsw.gov.au and check if an Application is being made in respect of a deceased person. Click on ‘Search for a Probate Notice’ and complete as many fields as you can (eg. full name of the deceased, town, postcode and if possible an approximate date of death). If an Application is being made the details of the firm of Solicitors acting for the Estate will be available by opening the document lodged on line.
Once you have those details you can contact the Solicitors and provide them with a copy of your invoice for payment when the Estate is being administered.
Author: Karen Lewin
This article is general information only and should not be relied on without obtaining further specific information.