Step by step guide - Applying for Probate

  • Time limit

    Time limit

    You should apply for Probate at the Supreme Court of NSW within six months from the date of death of the deceased. If it has been more than six months, you will need to provide an explanation for the delay in your affidavit. 

You will need the following documents before you apply for Probate:

  • the original will
  • any codicil (a separate document written by the deceased which sets out any changes to the will)
  • the original Death Certificate.

You will also need: 

  • the full name of the deceased 
  • the last address the deceased 
  • the date of death
  • the address and details of any assets (property) in NSW
  • full name of the executor named in the will. If more than one, names of all executors 
  • the full names of the beneficiaries named in the will, including their age and entitlement under the will
  • names of the witnesses to the will
  • an address for notices to be sent.

You should make extra photocopies of the documents for your own records. You should consider getting certified copies of the original documents as you may need to post the original will and death certificate.

If your application is uncontested, you can make an application online using the Probate Service. If your application is complex, you should get advice from a private lawyer.

There are fees for making an application which are payable by credit card.

To publish the notice on the NSW Online Registry website you must register an account.

Once you have registered, you can log on to your account by clicking on the Probate tile, on the NSW Online Registry website or the Probate Service on the Supreme Court of NSW website. 

If you do not have access to the internet or if you do not own a credit card, visit the Supreme Court registry in person for assistance.

Once you log into your account on the Probate Service, you can apply for a grant of representation by answering questions about the deceased, their assets (property) and about yourself as the executor.

If you need help with your application, click on the Help & Support tab on the Probate Service for instructions and information. You can also use the applicant checklist.

If you don’t have all the information you need, you can save your application and continue later.The Notice of Intended Application will be published when you apply for a grant of representation.

The Probate service will automatically generate and pre-fill the following forms for you to download and print:

  • Summons for Probate (Form 111)
  • Grant of Probate (Form 112)
  • Inventory of Property (Form 117)
  • Affidavit of Executor (Form 118)

You need to sign the forms in front of a prescribed witness (Lawyer or Justice of the Peace) who will verify your identity. The witness must also sign and write their details.

For more information about where to find a Justice of the Peace, see  Finding a JP on the Department of Communities & Justice website. 

The executor and the witness must both sign in the left hand margin of every page of the original will and any codicils. This is called 'identifying' the will. You must not write anything else on the will or make any other changes to the will.

Make two copies of the will (and any codicil) after it has been signed.

You will be prompted to upload the following documents with the Supreme Court of NSW:

  • Summons for Probate (Form 111)
  • Affidavit of Executor (Form 118) attaching the death certificate 
  • Inventory of Property (Form 117)
  • the original will (and any codicils).

You must pay a filing fee if the gross value of the estate is more than $100,000.  The filing fee varies according to the gross (total) value of the estate. 

For more information, see Current fees on the Supreme Court of NSW website.

If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, you can apply for a waiver, postponement or reduction of the fee.

For more information, see Fee Postponement, Waiver, Refund & Reduction forms on the Supreme Court of NSW website.

You will need to file the original will including any codicils by post or in person to the Supreme Court of NSW registry.

You must provide a copy of the covering letter generated online or a covering letter that includes the case number of your application.

Follow the instructions provided to you and remember to keep a copy of all documents before filing with the Court. The Court will not return the original will. 

If your application is incomplete or incorrect, you will receive requisitions from the Court by email which explains the problems with your application.

You will need to either re-file a form or file a separate affidavit to answer the requisition.

The Court will not grant Probate until you have answered the requisition. The Court may raise further requisitions if the Court is not satisfied with your response.

Your application may be dismissed if you fail to respond to the requisition or if you do not ask for more time to respond to the requisition. 

If there are no problems with your application and documents, and after any requisitions are finalised, the Court will grant Probate. You wll be notified by email.

You do not need to attend court as the Registrar will do this in Chambers (not in an open court).

For more information about what to do once Probate has been granted, see Distributing the estate.