Looking to get the right support and to fulfil your duties as an executor?

Death When There’s A Will

Our estates team acknowledges it’s a tricky time in your life and we're here to guide you through the probate process with empathy and minimal fuss.
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —
What to expect —

How long does it take?

It depends on the assets involved and the complexity of the will and your circumstances. Generally, allow three months to obtain probate and then a further six months to distribute the estate.

Who's Involved?

  • You (the executor of the estate) and any co-executors appointed in the will
  • your lawyer and our estates team, who will act for you and your co-executors
  • the beneficiaries
  • the accountant for the estate

What's the process?

Initial steps

Your first job as executor is to arrange the funeral and cremation or burial arrangements. You'll also need to secure any assets of the estate to ensure they are safe and so you know who has the keys to any vehicles or real property. Make sure that any valuable assets are insured and when the insurance policies are up for renewal.

It will normally take a few weeks for the death certificate to be sent to you in the post and when you receive it we suggest you and your co-executors catch up with us (either in person or via videoconference) to start to work through the information we need to help you with the estate process.

Obtaining the grant of probate

Unless the assets involved are minimal (or if the significant assets are held in joint names), you'll usually need to obtain a grant of probate. This means we'll need to file an application with the probate office with an affidavit signed by each of the acting executors, the original will, and an inventory of the assets and liabilities of the estate. Before we submit the application we'll also need to advertise your intention to apply for the grant.

Administering the estate

Once probate is granted, this will provide you with the authority to start to deal with the estate assets and we can help you collect the proceeds of bank accounts, sell real estate, pay out any liabilities and ultimately distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. We suggest that you wait for six months before distributing the estate as this is the time frame in which an eligible person could bring a claim against the estate.

What to have in order

  • The original death certificate.
  • The original will (if Sewells doesn't already hold it). If you don't have the original then bring a copy and details of where you think the original will is stored.
  • Your identity documents (passport, driver's licence and medicare card).
  • A rough family tree of your loved ones' close relatives with full names and contact details (and dates of birth, if they are under 18).
  • Any bank statements, share statements, Vicroads statements, life insurance and super, property details, bond details, employment details or other valuable assets you can track down that will help us work out the assets of the estate.
  • Details of any loans, credit card balances, or other debts that will help us work out the liabilities of the estate.
  • An idea of the value of any cars, real estate, or other valuable goods.
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
Common questions — Common questions —
No items found.

Our Death When There’s A Will Team

Rebecca Alexander
Shaun Moloney
Meagan Compton
Grace Spokes
Ashleigh Goodwin
Katie Sambell
Nicholas Lenehan-Anderson
Sally Kirkman
Julie Rippon
Maria Borgia
Janet Boyd
Ebony Ryan