Obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in Queensland generally takes a minimum of 8 weeks from start to finish. Not all organisations deliver Grants in the minimum timeframe.
Consideration should be had that Executors understand the accurate meaning of Probate when comparing the timing. Probate in its accurate use means obtaining a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court Registry, it is not the act of administering the estate (this is often where the misconception that Probate takes 9 months or years stems from i.e. people meaning their estate administration took 9 months/years).
The process and timing of obtaining a Grant of Probate or similarly a Grant of Letters of Administration can be broken down to the following 4 stages:
Stage 1 – Booking Notices (Minimum 1 Week)
You must advertise Notice of your intention to apply for a Grant (Form 103) in the Queensland Law Reporter (QLR) and Newspaper. Bookings for the Newspaper can be made the day before publication, however the Queensland Law Reporter is published once a week on Fridays with bookings required in advance by the Monday before publication. The Monday booking to Friday publication is the minimum 1 week wait.
To start the process of obtaining a Grant of Probate as fast as possible it is essential to make the first available publication of the Queensland Law Reporter (Fixed cost $161.70). Failure to do so results in a minimum extra week of waiting. It is advisable (but not essential) to publish the Notice in the Newspaper on the same Friday the Notice is published in the Queensland Law Reporter.
Stage 2 – Notice Period (Minimum 2 Weeks)
After the publication of the last (QLR or Newspaper) Probate Notice, it is regulated by law that two weeks (14 days) must past before an originating application for a Grant of Probate can be filed in the Supreme Court Registry.
The Probate Application documents are normally prepared and signed during the 2 week Notice Period ready for filing at the earliest opportunity after the Notice period has passed.
Stage 3 – Supreme Court Registry Processing (Minimum 4 Weeks)
After filing an originating application to the Supreme Court Registry it generally takes 4 weeks to process the documents. The Registrar may ask questions relating to the application as required and issue a requisition (stop) to any application where further information is required to finalise. Requisitions lead to further processing time and should be avoided by engaging organisations that deal with Probate applications regularly.
Stage 4 – Perfection of the Grant (Up to One Week)
Once a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration has been granted, the final document (i.e the Grant) needs to be “perfected”. This involves the document being checked, printed, signed and sealed. An Image of what a Perfected Grant of Probate looks like is available via the enclosed link.
In summary, as you can see from the total of the above stages a Grant of Probate generally takes 8 weeks to obtain from start to finish.