Complete Guide to Probate and Letters of Administration in NT

When a resident of the Northern Territory dies, either a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration application must be lodged for a person to be legally appointed the responsibility to:

  • Access finances, assets and belongings 
  • Distribute the estate as intended, and
  • Carry out any requests and wishes outlined in the Will. 

Our guide will explain and instruct you on how to:

  • Successfully submit a Grant of Probate Application, and
  • Apply for Letters of Administration where required

Minimum Documents required to apply for Probate in NT

A number of documents are required to submit a Grant of Probate application in the NT. The Supreme Court may also request additional documents other than those stated below before a grant is finalised.

You’ll need to obtain the following documents:

  • A single, downloadable file package from supremecourt.nt.gov.au containing the following forms:
  1. Affidavit of Executor Affidavit of Identity 
  2. Affidavit of Assets and Liability
  3. Affidavit of Publication and Search 
  4. Oath of Office 
  5. Probate
  • The original Will
  • The original Death Certificate

Filing for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration in NT

Probate Application 

A Grant of Probate application must be filed when a person dies, leaving a Will including a nominated Executor. 

Required documentation is submitted to the Registry following an assessment and decision made by The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. You’ll need to wait to be granted Probate before you’re allowed to distribute the deceased’s estate.

Who can apply for a Grant of Probate in the NT? 

Grant of Probate applications are to be lodged by the Executor(s) to the Will only.

Letters of Administration Process in the NT

Letters of Administration may need to applied for in the NT following a person’s death when the person died: 

  • Without leaving a Will at all, or 
  • Leaving a Will without nominating an Executor, or 
  • An Executor was named but has since deceased or 
  • The Executor no longer has the capacity to take on the role

Who can apply for Letters of Administration in the NT?

A Letters of Administration application can be lodged by when there is no Executor appointed or available to distribute the estate. This process can be completed by one or multiple individuals. While anyone can apply, the most suitable applicants are generally:

  • A spouse
  • Children
  • Siblings, or
  • Another close relative or family friend

The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory will determine the most “suitable person” following the Laws of Intestacy in the state to distribute the estate. 

Important Things to Note – NT Applications

The Executor to the Will must submit a ‘Notice of Intended Application’ to:

  • At least one newspaper in Darwin and,
  • A second local newspaper, if the person lived more than 200kms from Darwin’s General Post Office

Grant applications can only be processed after 14 days from the publication of the ‘Notice of Intended Application’. The deceased must have also left property assets within the Northern Territory. 

How long should I wait to file a Grant application in NT?

You should apply for either a Probate or Letters of Administration grant as soon as possible.

The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory requires you to file your application within six months of a resident’s death.

You may be exempt from this time frame if a genuine and eligible reason can be provided for a delay.

How do I file an Application of Probate in the NT?

1. Download the Probate forms package from supremecourt.nt.gov.au 

2. Print the forms and provide the details required by The Supreme Court of NT on the following documents included in the file:

  • Affidavit of Executor Affidavit of Identity 
  • Affidavit of Assets and Liability
  • Affidavit of Publication and Search 
  • Oath of Office 
  • Probate 

3. Annex the following to your printed and completed application:

  • Death Certificate 
  • Original Will

4. Submit your application to the Probate Registry, and wait for a response from the Court for any further actions or a decision on your Grant. 

How do I file for Letters of Administration in the NT?

1. As the deceased’s closest next of kin, you’ll need to prepare the following documents from supremecourt.nt.gov.au:

  • Affidavit of Executor
  • Affidavit of Identity 
  • Affidavit of Assets and Liability
  • Affidavit of Publication and Search 
  • Oath of Office 
  • Renunciation of Probate 

The next of kin hierarchy is as follows: 

  • Spouse
  • Children 
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Siblings

2. You’ll then need to annex:

  • The Death Certificate 
  • The Original Will – Letters of Administration application
  • A copy of the Notice of intention to apply to the Affidavit of Publication and Search 

3. You’re ready for filing! Submit your application to the Probate Registry and await a response, requisition request or a final decision on your Letters of Administration grant.

What does it cost to file for a Grant in the NT?

You may be required to pay several fees when applying for a Probate or Letters of Administration Grant in the NT including:

Probate & Letters of Administration Fees

  • A fee for publishing your Notice in one or more local newspapers.
  • A filing fee – a percentage of the gross value of the estate below:

Estate Gross Value

Fee

<$200,000

$200,001 - $400,000

$400,001 - $600,000

$600,000

4.4%

3.3%

2.2%

1.1%

When will I have a decision regarding my Grant in the NT?

Probate and Letters of Administration applications vary and depend on personal circumstances, special considerations and a range of other complexities involved with a person’s death.

Waiting periods for Grants in the Northern Territory are generally between 1-6 weeks from the date The Court receives the application.

Answering Requisition Requests in the NT

Often issues arise regarding Probate and Letters of Administration grant applications. These problems need to be rectified through means of answering a requisition and are commonly due to:

  • Errors made on forms
  • Discrepancies relating to details, or
  • Failing to supply the correct/sufficient documentation

What happens if there are issues with my application?

The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory will notify you and request a requisition to amend any issues, clarify or confirm details, provide further documentation or for a number of other reasons until the application is satisfactory.As requisition requests generally delay processing times, its crucial to ensure initial applications are correctly filed.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.