What is probate?

Probate is the name given to a legal process most people must follow, once the Supreme Court makes an order for a deceased person’s assets to be distributed. 

You might not need a probate order if a person died without independently owning any property, and had only a small amount of money to his or her name. If a person close to you has died in those circumstances, you should first approach the financial institution where the money is held to see if a formal court order is required. Similarly, if a spouse or close family member has died and all your assets were held jointly, you may wish to talk to your financial institution about any requirements. 

If you are certain that probate is required, and you have already registered an account with the Online Registry, the first step involves publishing a Notice of Intended Application online that gives warning of your intentions to the Court. 

Getting started with a Notice of Intended Application

To get started with publishing the initial probate notice, you will need to have an Online Registry account. Watch the video about how to register an account with the Online Registry. 

Need an account? Register now

Once you have logged into your account, you can open the online Notice of Intended Application form which will prompt you for all the information you need to enter in order to publish the appropriate notice. If you find that you do not have all the information you need, you can save the online form as a draft and return to it later. 

At the end of the online form, you will have to pay a small fee (it is less than $50) by credit card, or VISA/Mastercard debit card.

Got an account? Publish notice

What happens next?

Wait 14 days before making an Application for a Grant of Representation or other appropriate probate application. 

Once the Court has made a probate order, you may publish other notices which enable you to proceed with distributing a deceased person's estate or with filing accounts. These forms include:

  • Notice of Intended Distribution of an Estate
  • Notice of Filing of Accounts

For more information on how the Court deals with probate matters, visit the Supreme Court of NSW

Publishing notices for an old case

If a probate case was started prior to 2013, you will not be able to publish a Notice of Intended Distribution of an Estate online.

To publish a Notice of Intended Distribution of Estate for a case that was not started online, you’ll need to contact Registry staff who will be able to publish the notice on your behalf.

Simply download and complete the application form and return in to the Supreme Court.  

Or you can search existing cases by logging into your Online Registry account. Login to your account now