Supreme Court of Tasmania

Supreme Court of Tasmania - Probate & Administration

The Supreme Court of Tasmania has exclusive jurisdiction in Tasmania to make orders in relation to:

  • the validity of a Will of a deceased person
  • appointment of an Executor or an Administrator
  • the administration of deceased estates

The Probate Registry

The Probate Registry deals with all applications for Grants of Probate and Administration of deceased estates in Tasmania.

It is responsible for determining, on application for a Grant:

  • what document or documents constitute the last Will of the deceased
  • and/or who is entitled to be the personal representative (Executor/Administrator) of the deceased.

Deceased Estates

When a person dies leaving assets in Tasmania, somebody (usually the Executor of the person’s Will) has to deal with the person’s estate.

Generally this will involve:

  • identifying, collecting and gathering in all the assets of the deceased
  • paying any outstanding debts and necessary expenditure such as funeral expenses; and
  • distributing the estate to the persons entitled to it

In order to perform these tasks a Grant may be required.

Grants

A Grant is a legal document issued under the Seal of the Court which enables the person(s) named as Executor(s) or Administrator(s) to deal with the assets held by the deceased in Tasmania.

A Grant allows money of the deceased held in banks, managed funds etc., to be collected, property to be sold or transferred, debts to be paid and the estate to be managed generally.

The Grant is proof that the person named in the Grant is entitled to collect and distribute the estate of the deceased.

Grants issued by the Court

Probate

Probate is the process of officially proving the validity of a Will as being the last Will of the deceased.

A Grant of Probate is issued when the deceased’s last Will and testament is proved by one or more

Executors named in the Will.

Letters of Administration (with the Will annexed)

Representation in these cases is generally granted where the deceased has left a valid Will but the

person named as Executor cannot or will not apply for a Grant.

The Grant will generally be made in favour of the person who has priority as set out in Probate Rule 21

usually the person who has the greatest beneficial interest under the Will).

Letters of Administration

If a person dies without a Will the Court may issue a Grant of Letters of Administration.

In most instances the Grant is made to the next of kin of the deceased. For example it could be the

spouse, partner or child of the deceased. The order of priority of who can apply is set out in Rule 22 of

the Probate Rules.

Other Grants issued by the Court include

Reseals of foreign Grants, Letters of Administration pendete lite, Letters of Administration ad colligenda

bona, Letters of Administration de bonis non, Cessate Probate and Double Probate.

Procedure

Once you have determined the application you need to make you will need to prepare the application documents and file your application in the Probate Registry.

For people who do not wish to engage a lawyer, the Supreme Court has prepared two information Kits for applicants in person which can be used as guides on how to apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The Kits are available on the Information Kits page.

For frequently asked application questions and issues please visit Frequently Asked Questions.

Searching the Probate Registry

The Probate Registry has access to a record of all Grants issued by the Court.

For information regarding a current application please go to the Current Applications page.

For finalised records from 1995 onwards, a search request should be made to the Supreme Court Probate Registry. For information on how to lodge a search request with the Probate Registry please go to the Searches page.

For finalised records from 1825 to 1995 please enquire with the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, located at 91 Murray Street Hobart.  Research enquiries: (03) 6165 5538.

The information provided above is not intended to be legal advice. It is recommended that when seeking to apply for a Grant to administer the estate of a deceased that legal advice is obtained from a lawyer with expertise in this area of law. It is recommended you contact the Law Society of Tasmania.