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Probate frequently asked questions

Probate frequently asked questions2021-10-11T14:20:34+10:30
     
Do I have to use CourtSA to lodge documents in Probate?2021-04-22T09:43:45+09:30

From 26 November 2018, you must use CourtSA to lodge documents in Probate (Testamentary Causes Jurisdiction).

Does CourtSA completely replace the need to lodge documents at the Probate Registry?2021-04-22T09:45:00+09:30

The original Will and original grant (where the application is for a reseal of a grant) will still need to be lodged at the Probate Registry. All other lodgements must be performed on CourtSA.

What do I do if I cannot access CourtSA?2021-04-22T09:46:19+09:30

If you need assistance because CourtSA is down call CourtSA Registry Services on (08) 8204 2444.

How is identity verified?2021-04-22T09:49:02+09:30

Verification is a 100 point identification check. Refer to Practice Note 1 of 2019.

How do I lodge the original Will?2021-04-22T09:49:59+09:30

After lodging your application, download the Original Will Coversheet. Place the original marked Will in a white A4 envelope. Attach the printed cover sheet on the envelope.

Personal applicants must also place in the envelope their completed certificate of identity with annexed copies of identity documents and any other original affidavit or letter.

Legal practitioners and self-represented litigants are to lodge it in person or by registered post to the Probate Registry at Sir Samuel Way Building, 241-259 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000.

The original Will is NOT to be taken apart (staple removed) for the purposes of photocopying or scanning.

Do not attach paper clips, bulldog clips or anything else of this nature to the Original Will.

How are requisitions performed?2021-04-22T09:59:25+09:30

Requisitions will be sent to you via email with directions on how to respond.

Requisitions will be sent from either CAAPMRegistrarofProbates@courts.sa.gov.au or CAAPMProbateEnquiries@courts.sa.gov.au

How do I lodge an affidavit and any necessary supporting documents?2021-04-22T10:00:22+09:30

Affidavits, Court orders, letters and other documents to support your application should be scanned and uploaded in the ‘Other Affidavit or Documents’ or ‘Document Details’ section at the end of the online form.

Alternatively, you can upload them to your new case after you have submitted your application. Go to the ‘My Cases’ section of CourtSA to find your existing cases.

How do I amend the Statement of assets and liabilities?2021-02-23T15:40:36+10:30

Additional or inaccurately described assets:

If you have a paper grant (ie the file was lodged before the electronic system CourtSA was launched):

  1. Please upload a scanned copy of the signed affidavit of additional assets or inaccurately described assets (Form 56) to your file.
  2. Send the Probate Registry an email to notify them you have done so with any Registrar’s Certificates in a Word document to notify them you have done so with any Registrar’s Certificates in a Word document (Form 57​​​) you wish to be sealed.

Notification by email is necessary because there is no automatic alert on the migrated paper files unlike the files created electronically.

The Probate Registry will then request the paper file from storage to enable the examination and processing of the affidavit. Registry staff will directly contact the lodging party if there are any issues. Any registrar’s certificates will be sealed and made available to the lodging party on CourtSA. Notification will be sent by email when the registrar’s certificates can be accessed.

Please note, if you do not already have case access to the file you will need to request this through CourtSA.

Files migrated from the paper system to the electronic system are different – one being automatic access has not been given, even though you may have been the lodging party pre electronic lodgements and contact details such as email address do not function as they normally would on a new electronic file.

 

If you have an electronic grant (it will have a PROB number):

  1. Please upload a scanned copy of the signed affidavit of additional assets or inaccurately described assets (Form 56) to your file.
  2. Send the Probate Registry an email to notify them you have done so.

The Probate Registry will the examine and process the affidavit. Registry staff will directly contact the lodging party if there are any issues.

Any registrar’s certificates will be sealed and made available to the lodging party on CourtSA. Notification will be sent by email when the registrar’s certificates can be accessed.

Please note, if you do not have case access to the file then you will need to request this through CourtSA.

Liabilities

If you need to disclose liabilities to the Court after a grant has issued please upload a letter to your electronic file or email the Probate Registry

You should provide details of the estate (full name of the deceased and the Action Number) and a description of the liability in your letter or email.

 

Please note, if you do not have case access to the file then you will need to request this through CourtSA.
How do I amend a grant?2021-04-22T10:13:25+09:30

This function is to only be used if there is an error on the face of the grant – ie the spelling of a name or an incorrect address.

  1. Go to ‘My Cases’ via the portal and select the case.
  2. Under ‘Available Actions’ click on ‘Amend or Revoke Grant’.
  3. Follow the prompts.
  4. Enter the reason for the amendment in the box provided.
  5. Upload (in word format) the proposed new grant.
  6. Upload a scanned affidavit setting out the grounds for amendment.

You will receive an email advising you that the Grant has been amended and that the amended Grant is available through CourtSA.

How do I revoke a grant?2021-04-22T10:12:39+09:30

If the matter is not to be contested:

  1. If there is a paper Grant, return it to the Registry.
  2. Go to ‘My Cases’ via the portal and select the case.
  3. Under ‘Available Actions’ click on ‘Amend or Revoke Grant’.
  4. Follow the prompts.
  5. Enter the reason for the revocation in the box provided.
  6. Upload a scanned affidavit justifying the revocation.

If the matter is to be contested in a probate action and a grant had been issued prior to 26 November 2018 then see Rule 56 of the Probate Rules and Practice Note 9 of 2018.

What do I do if I don’t want to proceed with an application I have made?2021-04-22T10:10:28+09:30

If you do not wish to proceed with an application of any type you may discontinue it at any time before the Court has made a Grant or other final order.

  1. To discontinue, go to My Cases in CourtSA.
  2. Select the relevant case.
  3. One of the activities that you can perform is ‘Discontinue’. Click on that button, follow the prompts and click on ‘Save and Back’.

You will receive an email advising you that a Notice of Discontinuance has been issued by the Court and is available through the portal. That is your record of the discontinuance. If there is another party to the case, you should serve a copy on that party.

Are electronic documents considered originals?2021-04-22T10:09:23+09:30

The electronic documents are the original documents. The original Grant is the electronic version which can be viewed through CourtSA by anyone. You should not need to provide a certified copy. However, if required, you can download and print copies of the Grant from CourtSA and have those copies certified by an authorised person, such as a Justice of the Peace or a lawyer.

Where do I find the original grant?2021-04-22T10:08:59+09:30

The original Grant is on CourtSA. Any version which is printed is considered a copy.  All electronic documents, and by extension printed copies, contain disclaimers explaining this.

How do I get a court certified copy of the grant?2021-04-22T10:08:34+09:30

From 26 November 2018, the Court will no longer be providing certified copies nor office copies of Grants, because the original Grant is the electronic version which can be accessed by anyone through CourtSA.

You may wish to request an ‘Exemplification’. Exemplification refers to an official copy of a document made by the Court and authenticated by the Court’s seal (the exemplification consists of the exemplification coversheet and a copy of the will (if there is a will).

To request an exemplification of a grant from the Probate Registry please email with an attached letter addressed to the Registrar of Probates. The letter must set out the reasons for the exemplification with evidence (for example what is the asset that the Executor/Administrator is required to administer and/or is the institute holding the asset insisting that they will only accept an exemplification).

Upon receipt by the Probate Registry your request will be considered at the discretion of the Registrar of Probates and you will be notified of the outcome accordingly.

Please note if your request is accepted there is an associated fee.

How do I get a copy of the statement of assets and liabilities?2021-04-22T10:07:34+09:30

The lodging party can download the statement of assets and liabilities from their case on CourtSA. It can be found under the documents tab.

If you are not the lodging party you will need to write a letter or email addressed to the Registrar of Probates stating your name/your client’s name, the deceased’s name, date of death, your relationship to the deceased and the reason why you require a copy of the statement from the Probate Registry.

Upon receipt by the Probate Registry your request will be considered at the discretion of the Registrar of Probates and you will be notified of the outcome accordingly.

Please note the statement of assets and liabilities is not a public document.

How do I get a copy of the death certificate?2021-02-23T14:48:21+10:30
A copy of the Death Certificate can be obtained from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Visit their website or call at 131 882.
How do I find out if a further grant has been made?2021-04-22T10:06:23+09:30

You can search for a further grant in CourtSA.

How do I find out if an application has been lodged?2021-04-22T10:05:58+09:30

You can search for Probate applications in CourtSA.

Can I search for a case and download a grant?2021-04-22T10:05:24+09:30

To conduct a search you must be a registered CourtSA user.

You are able to search CourtSA to see if a grant application has been lodged and the grant issued. If the grant has issued you will be able to download a copy of the grant (no fee) as the grant (and Will (and codicils) if there is one) becomes a public document once issued.

Please note: a copy of the grant does not include the statement of assets and liabilities.

Providing a free searchable system provides any person who needs to act on the grant the ability to verify it against the source of truth. The integrity of the system and confidentiality of data is paramount. The CAA has put in place industry standard cyber security mechanisms to limit potential abuse of the system.​

What is the difference between searching for a case and requesting access to a case?2021-04-22T10:04:26+09:30

Searching

You must be a registered CourtSA user to search for a case.
You conduct a search in these circumstances:

  • To find out if a grant has been issued
  • To view the original grant or download a copy
  • To see if there is a caveat in existence
  • To see if there are any cases or applications about a particular deceased person or Will maker

When you search for a case you will:

  • see the case number
  • see the name of the case
  • see whether or not a grant has been issued
  • have the ability to view and download the grant (and any attached Will).

You will not be able to:

  • see the case
  • view or download any other documents.

Requesting Case Access

Requests for case access will be rare in Probate. You will only need to request case access if you are taking over the conduct of a case, or if you need to ask the Court for permission to perform an action on a case.

If you are represented by a lawyer, your lawyer will have access to cases lodged on your behalf, and will perform all case actions and any other case access requests on your behalf. Your lawyer can provide you with copies of any documents from the case that you wish to see.

To perform actions on cases lodged prior to 15 October 2018, a request case access application is required.  You will need to upload a Form 68  or Form 69 (whichever is appropriate) with your request for case access.

How long does it take for the grant to be issued?2021-04-22T10:02:28+09:30

We do not comment on the likely date of issue of a Grant. You should speak to the solicitor or personal applicant who is applying for the Grant.

An application has been lodged. Why is it taking so long?2021-04-22T10:01:55+09:30

You should speak to the solicitor or personal applicant who is applying for the Grant.

What is the fee for a grant / caveat / summons?2021-02-23T15:03:19+10:30

View the current probate fees or contact CourtSA Registry Services for more information.

Can court probate fees be paid out of the deceased’s bank account or using money from the estate?2019-10-31T10:43:43+10:30

The Law Society has requested the banks to make direct credits of probate filing fees into solicitor’s trust accounts and are waiting on a response.

What is the difference between annexures and exhibits?2021-02-23T15:41:42+10:30

Where an affidavit refers to a document, that document should be either annexed to or exhibited to the affidavit.

Annexures:

“Annexed” means physically attached to the affidavit by staple – after the page on which the last jurat (signature block) appears.

e.g. “a copy of the death certificate is annexed and marked ‘A’ ”

Never staple an original testamentary document (will or codicil) to an affidavit.

Exhibits:

If the document in question is a testamentary document – a Will or a codicil – do not annex it to the affidavit.

  1. This is when you use an exhibit.
  2. An exhibit is a separate stand-alone document.
  3. You link it to the affidavit by marking it as required by Note (6) to Form 22.

Where a testamentary document is referred to in an affidavit e.g.”the document dated … 20.. being now produced to be and marked ‘A’ (as the case may be)” the document must be marked “A” on the back of it beneath which a suitable exhibit endorsement must be made and which must be dated and signed by the functionary (person taking the affidavit), e.g.

“A”

This is the document marked “A” referred to in the affidavit of C.D. sworn/affirmed before me on …20…

Signature of functionary

Authority – e.g A Commissioner for taking affidavits in the Supreme Court of South Australia

If the testamentary document does not have a back sheet the marking, exhibit endorsement and signature shall be made in some place convenient place on the document. The marking, endorsement and signature must not interfere with the writing on either side of the document.

What is the assurance that practitioners must agree to before proceeding with any CourtSA application form?2019-10-31T10:33:40+10:30

“I have verified the identity of the applicant to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief in accordance with the Registrar-General’s verification of identity requirements.

I have explained the consequences of providing false or misleading information to the applicant.

The applicant has verified that to the best of the applicant’s knowledge, information, and belief, the information provided in this form is true​.”

How do I remove my solicitor and act in person?2021-02-23T15:37:33+10:30

You will need to request access to the case through CourtSA and lodge a Form 69.