An application for probate in South Australia must be filed through CourtSA, an online application through the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Applying for probate can be a complicated process, so it is a good idea to get advice from a lawyer.
Assets that may require a grant of probate
Bank, credit union or other account – Many financial institutions allow access to the deceased’s accounts without a grant of probate if the amount in each account is small. Check with the deceased’s bank, as the cash limit and other rules vary between institutions. If unsuccessful, then a grant of probate will be required.
Real estate – Land Titles Office will need a grant of probate if the home or property is in the deceased’s name only, or the deceased was a tenant-in-common with another person. However, if the deceased person owned the property as a joint tenant, probate will not be required as the property will automatically revert to the other joint tenant (e.g. the spouse of the deceased if they owned the property together as joint tenants).
Motor Vehicle – Transport South Australia does not need a grant of probate to transfer the registration of the deceased’s vehicle but will need to see a certified copy of the death certificate, a copy of the will, proof of identity, the certificate of registration and the completed application form.
Shares – Shares in the name of the deceased only and generally if valued at over $25,000 need a grant of probate to be released for distribution by the executor. The executor should contact the share registry of the company concerned or Computershare Investor Services to find out the number and value of shares held and whether the grant of probate is required for distribution.
Life insurance – If a beneficiary is not nominated on the policy, a grant of probate is usually required. If the estate is nominated as the beneficiary (which may occur if the insured created a testamentary discretionary trust), a grant of probate is likely to be required. However, if the policy is less than $50,000, the probate requirement may be waived, and a certified copy of the death certificate and a statutory declaration may be sufficient for the benefit to be paid out.
Superannuation – If the deceased has not made a binding death benefit nomination, there may be a need for a grant of probate. If there is no binding death benefit nomination, the executor may ask the trustee to pay the benefit directly to the deceased’s dependants, rather than into the estate. In this case a grant of probate is not needed.