In 1902 an executor was unable to find or identify a beneficiary of an estate. This case gave rise to the term “Benjamin Order”. In this case, the Court decreed that when an Executor is faced with uncertainty on who should be a beneficiary of an Estate, that Executor has the right to seek a declaration from the Court on who should benefit. Once this declaration is made the Executor is no longer liable if they distribute the Estate to who they believe are the correct beneficiaries, even if more entitled beneficiaries are subsequently discovered.Continue Reading
How Much Does Probate Cost in NSW?
In NSW, when you apply for a Grant of Probate, the application must be filed with the Supreme Court of NSW. All matters concerning wills, estates and will disputes are dealt with by the Supreme Court.
There are some circumstances where you are not required to obtain probate and this will save you the application cost. To find out what circumstances probate is not required visit our Grant of Probate page.
The application for Probate to the Supreme Court includes the following:
- a Death Certificate
- the Will (including codicils)
- the Probate
- a Summons for Probate signed by a Legal Practitioner
- an Inventory of Property detailing the Deceased Person's Assets and Liabilities
- an Affidavit from the Executor
To file an application for probate with the Supreme Court, a filing fee is payable. This fee is set by the Supreme Court and is based on the value of the estate’s assets. Generally, these fees may be reimbursed from the Estate of the deceased once a Grant of Probate has been issued.
Probate Filing Fees as of 11 July 2019 in NSW
Costs for legal services for probate and administration are scaled in accordance with Schedule 3, Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015. These costs are based on the value of the estate’s assets. We will provide you with a costs estimate once you inform us of the value of the estate.
In 2019 the current Probate filing fees for the Supreme Court, will depend on the estimated value of the assets of the deceased Estate that are located in NSW. The current filing fees are:
- For an Estate valued at less than $100,000 no filing fee is payable.
- For an Estate valued between $100,000 and $250,000 the filing fee is $761.
- For an Estate valued between $250,000 and $500,000 the filing fee is $1,033.
- For an Estate valued between $500,000 and $1 million the filing fee is $1,583.
- For an Estate valued between $1 million and $2 million the filing fee is $2,109.
- For an Estate valued between $2 million and $5 million the filing fee is 3,515.
- For an Estate valued over $5 million the filing fee is $5,860.
Additional fees may be charged by the Court for other Probate related actions including:
- Lodging a Caveat against a Grant of Probate costs $45 for an individual and $90 for a corporation.
- A Summons to Revoke a Grant of Probate costs $1,143 for an individual and $3,128 for a corporation.
- Filing the Accounts of the Deceased Estate costs $418 for an individual and $957 for a corporation.
- A certified copy of a Will or a Grant of Probate costs $145.
- Depositing a Will with the Court for safe keeping costs $134.
- Contesting a Probate Application costs $1,143 for an individual and $3,128 for a corporation.
- Filing fees and other charges set by the Court generally increase every July so current charges may increase in July, 2020.
Whether you decide to apply for probate yourself or you seek the help of a legal practitioner, filing fees will be the same. For this reason it makes sense to engage a lawyer who specialises in probate matters.
Where the probate application is uncontested, we will issue you a costs agreement that follows the schedule of filing fees listed above.
The majority of probate applications are uncontested, however, should the probate application be contested, we will issue a separate costs agreement that outlines our fees to defend a contested probate application on your behalf.
This is why it is important to seek help from a law firm like ours where we conduct extensive enquiries and due diligence that reduces the risk of a Will dispute. The work involved to perform this due diligence is covered by the probate filing fees listed above.
To understand the risks involved when you choose the wrong legal assistance for a probate application, visit our Probate Lawyers page.
If you're an executor and you need to apply for probate, but you're not sure where to start, Get In Touch with our Probate Lawyers for assistance. You're first consultation is free of charge and it will give you peace of mind and the confidence to navigate the process with expert advice.