Having this knowledge is important to enable the legal right to access and distributed the deceased estate's assets, according to the wishes outlined in the valid Will. Even when there is no will, probate grant enables the administrator to undertake their estate administration.
Below, Safewill legal covers all information on how to search for a grant for a deceased estate in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory.
In most states and territories, there is unfortunately no straightforward way to search for this legal document online. To complete a search for a grant or related documents, you will need to know specific details about the deceased and the application, as well as which state the application was filed in.
This article will clarify the process of searching for:
Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration; or
Advertisements notifying the public that an Executor or next of kin intends to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (known as “advertisements” or “notices”).
If you're looking for a grant of probate in New South Wales, start by checking if a notice of intended application for Probate or Letters of Administration has been lodged.
You can do this here. You'll need provide details about the deceased, including their last known residential suburb and date of death. If you find a notice, it will have contact details for the person- usually the executor, administrator, or Will solicitor- you should direct your probate questions to.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to speak to the Executor or the deceased's solicitor, you can contact the Supreme Court of NSW Probate Registry directly for an update about the probate application. To contact the registry, you can take the following steps:
Identify the case number of the application on the notice.
Call the Supreme Court of NSW Probate Registry on 1300 679 272.
Advise the registry staff about your request and provide the case number.
Alternatively, email the Probate Registry at email@example.com and detail your request, along with the case number.
For Probate files issued between 1800 to 1976, the court retains files in the NSW State Archives and can be located through the Archives Investigator.
If you cannot find a published notice of intended application, it is unlikely that anyone is applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in relation to the Estate.
In Victoria, you can check if a Probate or Letters of Administration advertisement has been lodged. This can be done here, and requires the deceased's first and last name, with options to narrow the search by the date of the advertisement.
If you find an advertisement, it will have contact details for the person you should direct your questions to regarding the application. To check whether Probate has been granted in Victoria, you can also search the Probate Applications Index of the Supreme Court of Victoria, by following the step-by-step guide below:
Search the Probate Applications Index here.
If the status of an application displays ‘application granted', then Probate has been granted.
If you wish to request a copy of the file, then you will need to request a search using this form. Please note that search fees apply.
A fee will need to be paid to the Probate Office to search for the file. You will need to fill out a credit card authorisation form.
You will then need to email both the request to search form as well as the credit card authorisation form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Records of all applications for Probate or Administration since 1970 are stored in the Probate Applications Index. For Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration granted before 2017, you will need to contact the Public Records Office Victoria.
If you cannot find a published advertisement, it is unlikely that anyone is applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in relation to the Estate.
The first step in Queensland is to check the Queensland Law Reporter's (QLR) Probate Notice Database for a notice of intention to apply for a grant of probate.
This can be accessed here, and requires the first, last or both names of the deceased. Alternatively, you can search past editions of the QLR for advertisements. These can be accessed here. Each new edition of the QLR is published every Friday at around 12:00pm. Please note, there is no built-in search function for the QLR, meaning you will have to manually look for the name of the deceased.
If you can find a published notice of intention to apply for a grant of probate, it will have the contact details for the deceased person you should direct your questions to regarding the application.
This will usually be the Executor, or their solicitor. You may contact this person and ask for an update as to the status of the grant.
To check whether Probate has been applied for, you can also search the eCourts records:
Access the eCourts website here.
Click on party search (eCourts).
Type in the relevant details of the deceased.
Input the deceased's name under the ‘party details' heading.
Then, select ‘deceased' or ‘deceased alias' from the dropdown menu.
Click ‘search'. The type of grant and whether it has been granted should appear. If no result arises, it is unlikely that the grant has been filed with the court.
If you cannot find a published notice, it is unlikely that anyone is applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in relation to the Estate.
The Australian Capital Territory has recently mandated that Notices of Intended Applications for Probate or Letters of Administration must be lodged on the Supreme Court's website. You can search these Notices here. You can use the deceased's name, and/or the Notice date to narrow the search.
If you can find a published notice of intended application for Probate or Letters of Administration, it will have the contact details for the deceased person you should direct your questions to regarding the application. This will usually be the Executor, or their solicitor. You may contact this person and ask for an update on the grant of probate.
To check whether an application for Probate has been made, you will need to search the ACT Supreme Court website here.
If you wish to obtain a copy of the file after Probate has been granted, you will need to submit a request on the ACT Supreme Court website. You may access the relevant information for this enquiry here. Please note that fees apply.
There is no need to lodge an advertisement of intention to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration in Western Australia. However, after a probate grant has been made by the court, it is standard practice to publish a Section 63 Notice in the West Australian newspaper and Government Gazette. To determine whether grant of probate has been approved, you can search the Gazette here.
To search and obtain a grant made in Western Australia, you will need to fill out a form from the Supreme Court of Western Australia website and send it to the court for processing. Please note that a search fee applies.
Access the Supreme Court of Western Australia website here.
Download the search enquiry form and complete the document.
Post or deliver the completed form along with the relevant fee to the address listed in the document.
Alternatively, lodge an electronic request to email@example.com by emailing the completed form with the credit card details section filled out.
For more information, you may call the Probate Office of the Supreme Court of Western Australia on (08) 9421 5152 between the hours of 9.00am and 4.00pm on business days.
Similar to WA, there is no requirement in estate administration to advertise an intention to apply for Probate or Letters of Administration in Tasmania. Despite this, some families of the deceased still choose to publish in local newspapers. This can be a good starting point when searching for a Grant of Probate, as many newspapers publish these notices online.
To check whether Probate has been granted in Tasmania, you will need to search the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.
For information on a current Probate application, you may email the Probate Registry at firstname.lastname@example.org with your enquiry.
Alternatively, you may call the registry on 1300 664 608.
If you wish to obtain a copy of a Grant of Probate, you will need to complete the document request form available on the Supreme Court of Tasmania Probate Registry website here. Please note that a search fee applies.
For records from 1825 to 1995, you will need to make an enquiry with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, which is located at 91 Murray Street, Hobart. Research enquiries may be directed to (03) 6165 5538.
Similarly, in South Australia the probate process does not require publishing an advertisement for Probate or Letters of Administration in South Australia. Some executors and administrators still choose to do so, although this is not a requirement of executor duties. If grant of probate was advertised, it is likely it be included in advertisement in a local newspaper where the deceased lived.
To search for a Grant of Probate in South Australia, you will need to go to the CourtSA website:
Access the CourtSA website here.
Create an account on the website.
Conduct a search of the probate registry after logging into your CourtSA account.
For grants issued from 1917 to 1979, you will need to email email@example.com. Make sure to state the deceased name and date of death in the email.
For grants issued from 1844 to 1916, you may find Probate records on the FamilySearch website. Search the deceased name and date of death in the SA Will and Probate Records. You will need to create a free account to login to FamilySearch.
To check whether a notice has been filed in Probate or Letters of Administration proceedings in the Northern Territory, you will need to contact the Northern Territory Supreme Court Probate Officer:
First, check to see whether there is an active notice filed in Probate proceedings on the Supreme Court Wills and Probate webpage here. Notices on this page are removed once Probate or Administration has been granted.
If there is no notice listed, you may need to email the Probate Officer at ProbateOfficer.NT@nt.gov.au and detail your request there.
Alternatively, you may contact the Probate Officer at the relevant location:
For the Alice Springs registry: (08) 8951 5727
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