Experienced Probate Lawyers in Melbourne & across regional Victoria
With no hourly rates and no upfront costs, Stratus Legal Group’s fixed price services are here for your peace of mind during a difficult time.
The legal process of proving a Will is known as Probate. As Probate lawyers, we assist the Executor of a Will in filing a probate application with the Supreme Court.
The process is complicated and must be accurate in terms of the estate’s assets and liabilities. Once Probate has been granted by the court, the executor will be able to deal with the estate’s assets in accordance with the Will’s instructions.
A little more about our Probate Services
Being an executor of an estate is a difficult job. To begin, you must be named as the Executor in the Will. The executor must then obtain the death certificate as well as all necessary information about the deceased’s property and liabilities. This will necessitate a thorough search of all banks, stock exchange clearing houses, real estate title searches, and other resources.
Once all of the assets and liabilities have been gathered, they must be valued as of the date of death. The Executor may require the assistance of a valuer to accurately value the assets, which must be sworn in an affidavit before the court. The next step in applying for probate is for the Executor to publicise their intention to do so. After the advertisement, there is a time limit before the application for probate can be made. This enables any creditors to contact the Executor and seek payment from the deceased estate.
Our probate lawyers are experienced in preparing court applications and detailed accurate affidavits. Furthermore, our probate lawyers have access to all internal departments at major banks and building societies in order to locate any unidentified assets. Our probate lawyers’ goal is to find, identify, and value all estate assets before calling them into the estate for maximum distribution to the estate’s beneficiaries.
Another critical step is to determine whether a caveat has been lodged against the deceased’s Will. Our probate attorneys conduct the necessary searches of the court’s records, keep you fully informed, and provide you with the legal advice you require.
The Executor’s job is far from over once the court issues an order granting probate. The Executor must then carry out the instructions contained in the Will, which in most cases will include selling assets, collecting bank funds, filing tax returns, and paying debts. It is also critical that the Executor is aware of any potential claims where someone may want to contest the will even before obtaining probate. Speaking with one of our probate lawyers will assist you in planning and developing a strategy if this is likely in your situation.
Our probate lawyers can assist you every step of the way. The legal fees are paid by the estate, so the Executor has no out-of-pocket expenses. Our probate lawyers can:
- prepare all of the required court documents,
- communicate with all banks and financial institutions,
- dealings with insurance companies
- search for and manage share market clearance house transactions,
- search the registers of the land title office;
- oversee the payment of any retirement or lodging bonds;
- look into foreign assets; and
- carry out asset searches in other states.”
In addition, we can arrange for the completion of final tax returns as well as the settlement of any outstanding debts.
We also provide administration services, where our expert probate lawyers can relieve you of the burden of administering the estate. Our probate lawyers will arrange for the sale of shares, the call in of term deposits and bank funds, and the preparation of any real estate to be sold. To ensure that the estate recovers as much money as possible, our probate lawyers will enlist the help of experts and tradespeople to arrange cleaning, gardening, maintenance, insurance, and the best real estate agents to maximise the estate’s return.
We provide our probate lawyers services at a fixed fee, so you know exactly how much the legal fees will be from the start. When you appoint our probate lawyers as Executor, you can rely on our expert advice and rest assured that the estate is in good hands.”
Things to Consider
Here at Stratus Legal Group we understand that dealing with a deceased estate can be daunting and stressful, all the while you are still dealing with your grief. We aim to ensure you understand the next steps throughout the process and are always on hand to answer any question you may have.
Providing everything that comes to mind is really important from the very start. Learning extra details from clients down the track can have a vast impact on the outcome of your matter which it is important to be open and honest with us.
For Contesting Estates we offer ‘No Win, No Fee’ where you only pay our legal fees if your matter is successful. For Probate it is common that we offer payment at ‘End of Matter’ where payment is not due until the completion day.
Our team are available through a variety of alternative methods including video calls (such as via Zoom and Microsoft Teams), face-to-face throughout Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria, telephone and email. If you prefer sending letters through Australia Post, don’t worry we can do that too. Whatever your choice of communication, our team will always do their best to keep in touch as regularly as possible, including returning calls, emails and letters.
What Our Clients Say
Read what some of our past clients have to say. The ethics and reputation of each one of our lawyers, precedes them individually and us as a firm.
Alex is an extremely professional, efficient, and friendly lawyer. He was fast with all correspondence, contacting me on the day of any inquiries. He took the time to happily explain any questions I had. I highly recommend Alex O’Donohue.