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  • Gabriella Ferraro

Deceased Estate: Is a grant required?

Written by Gabriella Ferraro

Edited by Catherine Micallef

There is no automatic requirement to apply for probate or administration when a person dies. Nevertheless, it is important to finalise a person’s affairs after their death.

Whether a grant is required depends on the assets that are left solely in the name of the deceased, and the requirements of any institutions holding those assets. However, a grant is not always required.

Why might you need a grant?

Before institutions will communicate with a representative of the deceased, they need to be satisfied that they are dealing with the right person. That is, a person who has legal authority to deal with the deceased’s affairs. The grant provides that assurance.

Generally, the requirement for a grant depends on the nature and extent of the assets of the deceased. For example -

Real estate: where a deceased owned real estate in their sole name or as a tenant in common, a grant is always required.

Refundable Accommodation Bonds: a deceased person residing in a nursing home will usually pay a bond to the nursing home. To receive a refund of those monies, a grant is required by law.

Personal estate, including but not limited to bank accounts and shares: for accounts or shareholdings over $50,000.00, a grant is usually required.

Where a grant is not required -

When an asset is held jointly, it means that the deceased owned that asset with another person(s). Where assets are jointly held, the asset does not form part of the deceased’s estate, and instead ownership passes to the surviving joint owner.

In these instances, providing a death certificate will usually be acceptable to transfer the asset to the joint holder. Similarly, a grant of probate is not required when transferring a motor vehicle with VicRoads.

The institution may also request evidence of entitlement, and signing of indemnities by the executor named in the will or the persons entitled on intestacy, in addition to the death certificate.

It’s important to know when a grant is required. When in doubt, it’s always best to outline the assets of the estate and seek legal assistance if you’re unsure. For more information, reach out to a member of our estates team on (03) 9311 8911.

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