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Do you need help with Probate?

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Mitchell is the Managing Principal of Sharrock Pitman Legal. He is an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Law (accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria). He also deals with areas of Employment Law, Wills & Estate Planning and Probate and can answer all your questions related to probate.

For further information, contact Mitchell on his direct line:


CALL: (03) 8561 3318

JobKeeper 2.1 – What you need to know

The information contained in this article is current as at 10 September 2020. To view information on the latest coronavirus updates, please visit our COVID-19 Updates, Webinars and Resources page or alternatively contact us on (03) 9560 2922 for further information on any recent changes.

The Federal Government has now has passed legislation to implement JobKeeper post-27 September 2020 when the scheme was originally scheduled to expire.

There have been a number of important changes to Jobkeeper 2.0 since it was first announced in July. In particular, there is now a less stringent turnover test and the scheme can also cover employees employed as of 1 July 2020, not just those employed as of 1 March 2020. We shall call this JobKeeper 2.1.

The key changes

The key changes to the JobKeeper scheme from JobKeeper 1.0 are as follows:

  1. The JobKeeper payments will be extended for another six months, until 28 March 2021.
  2. Employers will need to re-assess their eligibility for JobKeeper in each of the two quarters of the extended JobKeeper period. For businesses with less than $1 billion turnover, they will need to show that they have suffered a 30% reduction in turnover compared to their pre-COVID-19 turnover (15% for charities). Eligibility for the December 2020 quarter will depend on businesses showing they have suffered the required reduction in turnover in the September 2020 quarter (not both the June and September quarters, as was originally announced). A business’s eligibility in the March 2021 quarter will depend on the business having suffered the required reduction in turnover in the December 2020 quarter.
  3. There will be two classes of employees - those that worked 20 hours or more per week at the relevant date, and those that worked less than 20 hours per week at the relevant date. The relevant date can now be 1 March 2020 (the original date) or 1 July 2020. This means employees employed after 1 March 2020 can now be eligible for JobKeeper. Casual employees who have worked on a regular basis for the 12 months prior to 1 July 2020 can now also be eligible, where they might not have been eligible as of 1 March 2020. An employee’s hours of work will be calculated by taking the average of the four weekly pay periods prior to the relevant date. Those employees that worked 20 hours or more will receive the full JobKeeper payment, while those that worked less will receive a reduced rate.
  4. The JobKeeper payments are being scaled back from the $1,500.00 per fortnight per employee. The new pay rates will be as follows:

Employers should start considering now whether they will meet the new eligibility criteria from 28 September 2020 and plan accordingly. Employers that do expect to continue qualifying will need to factor in the reduced rates that they will receive on behalf of their employees that are earning wages in excess of the JobKeeper payments.

How can Sharrock Pitman Legal help?

If you have any further queries about JobKeeper and how these changes will impact your business, please feel free to get in touch. Contact our employment lawyers on 1300 205 506 and we will be happy to assist.

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Written by one of our lawyers

,

.

Samuel Ellemor

For further information contact

Samuel Ellemor

Samuel is a Legal Practitioner at Sharrock Pitman Legal.

He deals with areas of Commercial Law, Employment Law and Charities & Not for Profit Law. For further information, contact Samuel on his direct line (03) 8561 3316.

More on

Employment Law

However, in this article we will set out the factors that influence how long it will take to obtain a Grant of Probate and to administer an estate in Victoria.

The basics

First things first: what is a Grant of Probate? A Grant of Probate is effectively a document issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria which formally authorises an executor to manage the estate of a deceased person in accordance with their Will. Without Probate, the asset holders (say a bank or share registry) cannot be satisfied as who has the correct authority to receive the deceased's assets and may refuse to pay out.

Sometimes, for smaller estates or if assets are mostly jointly owned with a surviving spouse, asset holders might agree to release payment without requiring a Grant of Probate. This is usually on the basis that the person who receives payment promises to repay (or Indemnify) the asset holder if it turns out they paid to the wrong person.

If there is no Will, then you cannot obtain a Grant of Probate. Instead you obtain Letters of Administration. This is effectively the same, in terms of authorising someone to administer the estate, and would usually be obtained by the person who is the closest next-of-kin to the deceased.

“A Grant of Probate is effectively a document issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria which formally authorises an executor to manage the estate of a deceased person in accordance with their Will.”

Timeframes for Probate in Victoria

In order to obtain a Grant of Probate, the Court needs to be given information about the assets and liabilities of the estate, the deceased person, the witnesses to the Will, the executors and the Will itself. An advertisement of your intention to apply for Probate must also be placed on the Supreme Court website for at least 14 days prior to any application.

Often, making enquires to obtain all the necessary information can take a number of weeks. Also, you will need the Death Certificate for the application for Grant of Probate and possibly for making proper enquires regarding the assets and liabilities. Waiting for the Death Certificate to issue can therefore add a few more weeks to the process. Overall, if you have your application for Grant of Probate lodged within 1 to 2 months from the date of death, you are making timely progress.

The Court itself does not take long to process the application (maybe another 1 to 2 weeks) and this is done 'on the papers' using the electronic Court filing system. This means you do not have to go to a court hearing. There is also a general discretion for the Court to issue a 'Requisition' asking that you provide more information before they process the application and this can delay matters.

“Overall, if you have your application for Grant of Probate lodged within 1 to 2 months from the date of death, you are making timely progress.”

So, here we are a few months after death and you finally have a Grant of Probate. It is important to remember that this is the start of the estate administration and not the end. For a very simple estate, you might only need a further month or so to cash the assets and pay them to the correct beneficiaries. However, it can often be more complex than that. Factors that determine the timeframe to administer the estate include:-

  • Some assets will take time to cash or transfer. For example, if selling a property, final settlement might be 60/90/120 days from the day of sale.
  • There is a 6 month period for challenges to be brought against the estate and executors must wait until this period expires before distributing the estate, if there is any risk that a disgruntled family member might come forward.
  • There might need to be final tax returns for the deceased or for the estate. Failing to wait for the ATO to process these could leave the executor personally liable for a tax bill.
  • You might need to advertise for creditors to come forward and wait for a period of months while this advertising timeframe expires. This protects the executor if they are unsure of all of the deceased's financial dealings and creditors.
  • It might not always be a good time to immediately cash estate assets. For example, the shares just took a nose-dive, do you still sell regardless of available price?

There is a general rule that executors have an 'executor's year' to complete the estate administration. This means that you should be aiming to have the estate finalised and distributed within 12 months from the date of death.

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Any legal matters should be discussed specifically with one of our lawyers.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Need help with Probate?

Our expert legal team is ready to take your call!

Mitchell is the Managing Principal of Sharrock Pitman Legal. He is an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Law (accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria). He also deals with areas of Employment Law, Wills & Estate Planning and Probate and can answer all your questions related to probate.

For further information, contact Mitchell on his direct line:

DIRECT LINE: 
(03) 8561 3318

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For fifty years Sharrock Pitman Legal has made a significant and long term contribution to meeting the legal needs of business owners and residents in the City of Monash and greater Melbourne area.