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Probate and COVID-19

The Supreme Court of NSW is still open and is still processing probate applications (the document usually required to deal with the assets of a loved one who has passed away).  However, currently (7 April 2020) the court is advising that it has no power to relax the rules regarding the execution of documents.  This may change if regulations alter the Oaths Act 1900.  The COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 No 1 has allowed for this possibility but regulations have not yet been passed. This means that there are likely to be some delays in preparing applications for probate whilst arrangements are made to execute the necessary documents with appropriate witnesses.  Whilst a probate application is being made, banks may be prepared to release some funds to pay for pressing bills needed to be paid for the estate.  The loss of a loved one and the current climate of uncertainty and potential delay makes for a very stressful time and we are hoping to take as much stress out of the situation as possible.

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