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How to get the most out of your Probate lawyer.

NSW Probate Lawyer

If you’re looking after your first Probate for a loved one – firstly, please accept our condolences – and secondly, your inexperience with Probate is likely a good thing given the event that would trigger you having been in this position before.

While we can explain what Probate is and give you an insight on the “what, where and how”, we’ll leave our website to do its job and educate you and instead we’ll give guidance on what to try to get together before meeting with your lawyer so we can get the ball rolling and better answer your questions (because there are always questions – experienced & inexperienced executors alike  – as there should be given each family’s uniqueness).

Find a Will NSW

First – you’ll need the last Will. A copy of the Will for the first meeting is fine, if you know where the original Will is that’s even better. If it’s held with another law firm, we can give you an Authority to sign to arrange release of the Will.

Executor of the Will 

Second – your ID. Every Tom, Dick & Harry these days will ask for your ID, and usually 100 points of it. Your lawyer will be no different. We’re required by lots of different laws to properly identify you – this is for your benefit and ours, and it will help streamline the work we do for you as we’ll have your ID on file to be able to provide to all the banks and organisations we will need to get in touch with on your behalf. N.B. if your loved one owned real estate there will be an extra layer of ID we’ll need from you to satisfy the NSW Land Registry Service  – so maybe start seeing what ID docs you have for yourself….

Proof of death

Third – the Death Certificate. This usually takes some weeks to issue from the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages and will usually be applied for and sent to the funeral director. During the time we’re looking after your loved one’s estate, we’ll need to have the original Death Certificate which will later be returned to you. While you wait for the Death Certificate, you’ll likely be given a handwritten form titled “Medical Cause of Death Certificate.” This will get you through until you have the official version.

Deceased Estate Assets

Fourth – information. We need lots and lots of it. If you’re not sure if it’s relevant, let us decide. What you’re not sure about we can usually find out for you. The more information you have, the more accurate advice we can give you upfront. Here’s a list to start you off:-

  1. Full legal names and addresses of beneficiaries (especially if names are misspelt in the Will)
  2. Full legal name, address and date of birth of your lost loved one (especially if their name was misspelt in the Will)
  3. Details of the assets and liabilities of your loved one:-
    1. account numbers for banks/investments/etc
    2. Security Reference Number (SRN) for shareholdings
    3. Tax File Number
    4. If there’s no mortgage on their property, details of where the title deed is
  4. An approximate value for each asset and liability as at the date of your loved one’s passing

Copies of the last statement for each asset and liability will often have these details on it.

Sorry, there’s no central agency that can give us information on what your loved one owned, usually it’s a matter of looking through the usual places where they kept their paperwork. Saying that, if your loved one was receiving a pension, looking at annual Centrelink statements showing a breakdown of their assets can sometimes help. Or speak with their accountant or financial planner.

Your NSW Probate Lawyer

Easy peasy? Book in a meeting and we’ll do the rest. Want to chat it over with a lawyer? Book in a free 10 minute chat with a lawyer here or send us an email here or at [email protected].

We’ll look after you.

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