Wills, probate, letters of administration, powers of attorney
I agree with citizen-joe. Ask the bank if they require any documentation before they release the funds.
The best case is that they will release the funds if you produce a certified copy of the Grant of Probate from the UK.
The worst case is that the bank will ask for a re-seal of the UK grant by the Supreme Court of QLD. This may occur if the balance in the account is [typically] A$50,000 or above.
As citizen-joe suggested, ask the bank what they require.
If you are asked to provide the bank with a re-sealed grant, then the process requires an ad in the QLD Law Reporter and notification to the QLD Public Trustee.
The application in Australia is to re-seal the UK grant of probate. It would then not be to make a separate application for probate in Australia.
If you are not an Australian resident then you must also have a legal personal representative in Australia to act for you [make the application for a re-seal]. This can be an Australian solicitor or another Australian resident appointed under a QLD power of attorney.
The application process requires an 'extract' of the UK grant [Court copy of the UK Grant] to be submitted to the Supreme Court of QLD - plus other application paperwork. You would not need to provide the original will. The Court will examine and assess the application to re-seal the grant from the UK. It should be mechanical unless there is some claim on the estate by someone in any way.
I hope this is of assistance.
Mark van den Berg
Thanks so much for the replies so far!
Is it really a must that we have an Australian legal representative acting for us, I had not read anything about that being a necessity? That will be a pain as she doesn't have much money spare for that - any ideas on how much we should be paying for such a service?
Yes, I believe it is necessary for applications for letters of administration to have an Australian resident acting. For probate it is not required as far as I am aware.
An application to re-seal a UK grant only requires the UK Grant to be submitted to the Court in QLD and not the will. The UK Grant should automatically include a Court copy of the will anyway.
Please look at our Probate PLUS service (sorry to sprook our services in the forum) which includes re-seal applications.
You can send an email directly to discuss the situation in more detail privately.
Mark van den Berg