The death of a family member or friend is a difficult time, and the process of administering the estate can feel complicated and stressful. During this process, you’ll come across the term “Grant of Probate”. But what does it mean, and do I need a Grant of Probate for deceased estates?

Keep reading to learn more about Grant of Probates.


What Is A Grant Of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is the document issued by the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court of South Australia which authorises the Executor to administer the Will.

Do I Need A Grant Of Probate?

It is not always necessary to apply for a Grant of Probate. Probate will generally be required if the deceased person owned:

  • real estate (land)
  • assets worth more than $20,000; or
  • assets with an institution (e.g. a bank account) that requires a Grant of Probate before releasing the assets.

When Is A Grant of Probate Not Necessary?

It is important to remember that when we talk about the deceased’s assets, we are talking about assets that the deceased owned in their sole name.

Assets owned jointly with another person will become the property of the surviving joint owner by operation of law. It is only if assets are owned solely or as tenants-in-common that it may be necessary to seek a Grant of Probate – so ensure you speak to estate planning lawyer.

While no Grant of Probate is required in relation to joint tenant assets, there may be other paperwork required by the institution controlling the asset. For example, where the joint owner of land passes away there is a need to lodge an Application to Register A Death form with the Lands Titles Office, along with a copy of the death certificate of the deceased. A new Certificate of Title can then be issued in the name of the surviving joint owner(s).

Do I Need A Grant Of Probate For Superannuation Assets?

In addition, you may not need to apply for probate to deal with superannuation assets. This is because superannuation funds have their own requirements for dealing with deceased estates.

Hopefully, the deceased will have nominated a beneficiary who they have directed will receive amounts held in superannuation. If not, the superannuation fund may still deal with the matter without needing to obtain r Probate, depending on the circumstances.


The best way to answer the question, “do I need a Grant of Probate?” is to talk to a wills and estate lawyer experienced in deceased estate administration. This can normally be determined quite quickly.

For further information (or if you need to make a Will) please contact Michelle Crichton on 8362 6400 or email Michelle Crichton. You can also join our mailing list to receive updates and legal advice on current issues, such as contesting a Will and how to apply for probate or letters of administration.

People also read: