Questions

Definition of a small estate

SE1    Should the current figures in the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) determining what is a small estate be raised? If so, what should they be raised to, and how should they be determined?

SE2    In determining what is a ‘small estate’:

(a) should the dual threshold of values, based on the identity of the beneficiaries, be retained?

(b) should the value be set by the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic), or be moved to subordinate legislation?

SE3    Is there a better way to define which estates should have access to the simpler processes relating to small estates? For example, by reference to certain asset profiles?

Assistance in obtaining a grant of representation

SE4     Should the Supreme Court Probate Registry retain responsibility for providing assistance in obtaining grants of representation in relation to small estates?

SE5     Could formal assistance through the Supreme Court Probate Registry be replaced by the provision of clearer, more comprehensive, court-generated information?

SE6   Would the introduction of a sliding fee scale, perhaps with a nil fee for grants of representation for small estates, encourage people to seek grants of representation in small estates?

Elections to administer

SE7     What should be the value that determines the size of estates that can be administered under an election to administer?

SE8     Should the second threshold, above which an application for a full grant must be made, be retained? How should such a figure be expressed (for example, as a percentage of the initial figure or as a static figure)?

SE9     Should the threshold figures for elections to administer refer to the net or gross value of the estate?

SE10   Should legal practitioners be permitted to file elections to administer? What would be the advantages of such a change?

SE11   Should elections to administer require the filing party to file the will with the Court?

SE12   Should advertisements giving notice of intention to file an election to administer be moved from newspapers onto the Supreme Court website?

SE13   Should notice requirements in relation to an election to administer be abandoned altogether?

SE14   Should elections to administer be subject to stricter procedural safeguards?Are there other improvements that could be made?

SE15   Do elections to administer, in their current form, serve a valuable function for small estates? If not, should elections to administer be abolished?

Deemed grants

SE16   What should be the value that determines the size of estates that can be administered under a deemed grant?

SE17   Should there be a second threshold above which an application for a full grant should be made, as with elections to administer? If so, how should such a figure be expressed (for example, as a percentage of the initial figure or as a static figure)?

SE18   Should threshold figures for deemed grants refer to the net or gross value of the estate?

SE19   Should legal practitioners be permitted to advertise for deemed grants? What benefits might this change produce?

SE20   Should deemed grants have more stringent procedural safeguards (for example, a requirement to file wills and inventories, and to search for caveats or prior grants)?

SE21   Do deemed grants, in their current form, serve a valuable function?

Informal administration

SE22   Should section 32 of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) be expanded to a provision of more general application, in line with the recommendation of the National Committee?

SE23   Should it be possible to transfer real property without a formal grant, as in Queensland? If so, in what circumstances?

SE24   Should section 33 of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) be amended in line with the recommendation of the National Committee?

SE25   Should the Victorian provision be modified to limit an informal administrator’s liability not only in relation to payments made, but also in relation to any other act that might properly have been done by a personal representative to whom a grant has been made?

SE26   How else could the role of informal administrators be better clarified?

SE27   Would a process of administration by statutory declaration be a worthwhile addition to the mechanisms designed to facilitate the administration of small estates?

SE28   Are there further safeguards that would be necessary or desirable if this proposal were implemented?

 

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