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Making a probate application

Before you make a probate application in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, you must wait at least 14 days after the probate notice is published on the NSW Online Registry website. For more information, see Applying for probate.  

If you want to make a probate application, follow the steps in the guide on this page.

Icon: Page with numbered list  Making a probate application - Step by step guide

Icon - alert  A Probate Application should be made within 6 months from the date of death.  If an application is made later, an explanation for the delay must be provided in the Affidavit of Executor.

Step 1: Prepar​​e your documents

To make an application, you will need the following documents:

  • 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 should make extra photocopies of the documents for your own records.

Icon - alert  If you cannot locate the original will, you should get legal advice.

Icon - alert  If the will or the death certificate is in another language, it must be translated to English by a professional translator.

Step 2:  G​et the forms

You will need the following forms to apply for probate:

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

You can get a copy of the forms:

Step 3: Fill in the​ Summons for Probate

When you fill in the form you should include:

  • the case number
  • the full name of the deceased
  • the date of death
  • the suburb the deceased lived in
  • the usual occupation of the deceased
  • the gross and net value of the estate
  • the name(s) of the executor(s)
  • the number of pages of the will.

Icon - alert  You must ensure that the information contained in the summons is identical to the Affidavit of Executor.

Icon - sample/instructions Instructions for filling out a Summons for Probate

Icon - sample/instructions Sample Summons for Probate (Form 111)

Step 4: Fill in t​he Grant of Probate

When you fill in the Grant of Probate form you should include:

  • the case number
  • the details of the court
  • the full name of the deceased
  • the address of the deceased
  • the date of death
  • the date of the will
  • the name and address of the executor
  • the basis of grant.

You do not need to sign the probate form.

You must also attach a copy of the Inventory of Property to the probate.

You will need two copies of this document.

Icon - sample/instructions  Instructions for filling out a Grant of Probate

Icon - sample/instructions  Sample Grant of Probate (Form 112)

Step 5: Fill in ​the Inventory of Property

When you fill in the Inventory of Property you should include:

  • the name of the deceased
  • a list and description of the properties owned solely by the deceased
  • a list and description of the properties owned by the deceased as joint tenants with another person
  • the estimated or known value of each of the properties
  • the total value of the property.

Icon - alert  Property includes real estate, cash held in a bank account, furniture, valuable jewellery, antiques, paintings, cars and boats, and any other goods owned by the deceased.

Icon - alert  The Inventory of Property must be signed by the executor and the witness to the Affidavit of Executor.

You will need two copies of this document.

Icon - sample/instructions  Instructions for filling out an Inventory of property

Icon - sample/instructions  Sample Inventory of property (Form 117)

Step 6: Prepare​​ the Affidavit of Executor

When you prepare the Affidavit of Executor you should include:

  • the case number
  • the court details
  • the details of the deceased
  • the filing details of the plaintiff (the executor)
  • the details of the legal representative (if there is one)
  • confirmation that the will attached to the affidavit is the last known will made by the deceased
  • a description of how you identified the deceased's signature
  • names of the witnesses to the will
  • confirmation that the deceased did not marry after the will was made
  • confirmation that the deceased owned assets in NSW
  • confirmation that you are over 18 years of age
  • the date when the Notice of Intended Application was published on the NSW Online Registry
  • the details of the beneficiaries (names, age and entitlement)
  • details of any debts of the deceased
  • the gross and net value of the estate.

When you have prepared the affidavit, you need to sign it 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.

Icon - sample/instructions   Instructions for filling out the Affidavit of Executor

Icon - sample/instructions   Sample Affidavit of Executor (Form 118)

​If t
here is more than one executor named in the will:

Icon - sample/instructionsInstructions for filling out the Affidavit of Executors

Icon - sample/instructionsSample Affidavit of Executors (Form 118)

Step 7: Attach yo​ur documents to the Affidavit of Executor

When you have completed your forms, you must annex (attach) the following documents to the Affidavit of Executor:

  • the original Death Certificate
  • Inventory of Property.

You should attach the documents in the same order they are referred to in the affidavit. 

You must write the words 'Annexure A' at the top of the first document. At the bottom of the document, you also need to write the following:

   'This is Annexure A to the affidavit of [executor's name] dated [date of the affidavit]'

The witness must sign every annexure after they have witnessed the affidavit.

If an annexure has more than one page, you only need to write on the first page of the document but you should change the statement written at the bottom of the annexure to:

   'This and the following [2] pages is Annexure A to the affidavit of [executor's name] dated [date of the affidavit] '

On the next document write, 'Annexure B' and the statement at the bottom of the document and so on, in alphabetical order, until all of the documents are attached.

Icon - alert  Check to ensure that each of your annexures have the same letter of the alphabet as they have in the Affidavit of Executor and that every page of the affidavit and annexures are signed by the executor and the witness.

Icon: Hint  If you want to keep the original death certificate, you should annex a certified copy of the death certificate to the Affidavit of Executor and file the original death certificate as a loose document.  The court will return the original death certificate after a grant is made.  

It is a good idea to keep a certified copy of the original death certificate before you file it with the court. Alternatively, you can also apply for a new Death Certificate from the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for a fee. If you want to apply for a new death certificate, go to the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages website.

Step 8: Sign t​he margin of the will (and any codicils)

The executor and the witness must both sign in the left hand margin 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.

Step 9: File your​ application at the Supreme Court of New South Wales

You must file the following documents at the Supreme Court of NSW:

  • Summons for Probate (Form 111)
  • Affidavit of Executor (Form 118) attaching the death certificate and the Inventory of Property (Form 117)
  • the original will (and any codicils)
  • a stamped self-addressed A4 envelope.

In addition to the above documents, you must also file two sets of copies of:

  • the Grant of Probate (Form 112)
  • the will including any codicils
  • Inventory of Property (Form 117).

Staple each set of documents in the top left hand corner.

Icon - alert  Make sure you keep a copy of all documents before filing with the court.  The court will not return the original will. 

Icon - alert  Before you apply for probate, you must wait at least 14 days after the probate notice is published on the NSW Online Registry website.

Icon - alert  If you are notified by the court that a caveat has been lodged, you should get legal advice.

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. If the gross value is more than $100 000 but less than $250 000, the filing fee is $718.00 (as at 1 July 2016).

For more information about the current filing fees, go to Schedule 1 of the Civil Procedure Regulation 2012 on the N​SW Legislation website.​

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

For more information, go to the  Supreme Court ​of New South Wales​ website.

The application must be filed:

  • in person at the Supreme Court of New South Wales Registry located at Level 5, 184 Phillip Street, Sydney or
  • by mail to the Supreme Court of New South Wales Registry, G​PO Box 3, Sydney, NSW 2001.

For more information, go to the Supreme Court probate checklist on the Supreme Court of New South Wales website. ​​​