Series VPRS 28
Probate and Administration Files
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series Circa 1841 - 2009
  Series in Custody 1841 - 2009
  Contents 1841 - 2017
Public Access: Part Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1841 - 1852 Supreme Court of N.S.W. for the District of Port Phillip VA 914
1852 - 1948 Master in Equity, Supreme Court (also known as Master in Equity and Lunacy 1867-1923) VA 2624
1948 - 1960 Master of the Supreme Court VA 2613
1960 - cont Registrar of Probates, Supreme Court VA 2620
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1960 - cont Registrar of Probates, Supreme Court VA 2620
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Refer to https://www.prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/wills-and-probates for information about how to use and access the records in this series.

  • Function / Content
    The records in this series consist of Probate and Administration Files that document applications lodged to the Supreme Court for the granting of Probate and Letters of Administration.

    When a person dies leaving assets in Victoria, it is the responsibility of the executor named in a Will, or the next of kin where there is no will, to administer the estate of the deceased according to law. In some instances, a grant of representation will be required to deal with the assets that have been left behind by the deceased.

    A Probate is a document issued by the court certifying the will's validity and confirming the appointment of an Executor to administer the deceased estate.

    Letters of Administration is the Court's approval to administer the estate of a person who dies without a will. In most instances Letters of Administration will be granted to the next of kin of the deceased e.g. a spouse, domestic partner or a child of the deceased.

    Alternatively, if the deceased has left a valid will but the named Executor is no longer alive, competent, or willing to undertake the responsibilities involved with administering the estate, the court may appoint someone else e.g. a beneficiary, to administer the deceased's estate according to the will. This is called "Letters of Administration with the Will annexed". These applications contain the original will or a copy of the will.

    Applications for Probate or Letters of Administration include the following documents:

    - an Inventory of Assets and Liabilities
    - an Affidavit of Executor / Administrator
    - an Affidavit of Publication of Notice and Searches

    Depending on the application type, application files may also contain:
    - a Will (original or copy) of the deceased
    - Affidavits of attesting witnesses
    - Documents providing proof of death and accounts relating to the estate.

    Prior to 1992, wills were generally filed separately from the Probate and Administration Files. Wills from 1853-1992 can be found in VPRS 7591 Wills. The last will located in Consignment P0018 of VPRS 7591 is 1051/145.

    Non-Issues
    In some cases the process of applying for the Grant was aborted and Probate was not granted. This could be because a named executor had died in the midst of the process of applying for the Grant, or another Will had been found, or the documentation was incomplete or incorrect, or a caveat had not been acted on or reissued (a caveat lasts six months unless renewed). In these cases the documentation that had been completed as part of the process was described as "NON-ISSUE". These papers can be found in VPRS 7933 Non Issued Probate Applications.

    For Probate and Administration Files from 2009 onwards, refer to VPRS 17379 Probate and Administration Files (CourtView).

  • Recordkeeping System
    There were three different numbering systems used to identify the Probate and Administration files and the wills.

    1841 to 1853
    The first is a sequential numbering system containing two "series "; A and B
    - series A has sequential numbering from 1 to 412,
    - series B has sequential numbering from 1 to 210.

    For example, A/121 is the 121st file in series "A".
    Copies of wills relating to these numbers are found in volumes A and B respectively of VPRS 27 Transcriptions of Wills (see microfilm VPRS 525).

    1853 - 1992
    As of March 1853 the numbering system was still sequential but the files were divided into "series" of 1000. The file has a dual number:
    - the first being the number of the "series",
    - and the second being the sequential number within the sequence 0 to 999.

    For example, 109/291 is the 292nd file in the 109th "series".

    1993 - 2009
    From 1993 a single number sequence was used. The last file number to be divided into "series" and "sequential number" is 1064/29. The next file number is 1064030, followed by 1064031 and so on.


    Controlling Series & Indexes
    This series is controlled by VPRS 261 Register of Probates and Administrations Issued, and an index to the registers and files is contained in VPRS 262, Index of Probates and Administrations Issued.

    Subsequently a further index was created, VPRS 3340 Index to Probates and Administration Issued (Microform Copy of the Probate Index and VPRS 262). The index is arranged alphabetically within time periods according to the date of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. There is sometimes a considerable gap between the date of death and the date of the grant. This index is a microfiche copy of the original Probate Index which remains in the custody of the Probate Office.

    PROV has compiled an online index to search the records in this series. Additionally, Wills, Probate and Administration records from 1841 - 1925 have been digitised and are available to view online. The online index is located here:


    P0000, P0001 & P0002 Consignments
    The P0000 consignment of this series includes files dating from 1841 to 1922. However various documents from each file were retained by the Probate Office. Those documents retained included:

    - the will,
    - the executors affidavit,
    - the grant of Probate or Letter of Administration
    - the inventory of the Estate.

    The remaining portions of each file in the P0000 consignment have subsequently been transferred to PROV and are found in the P00001 or P0002 consignments.


    P0032 Consignment
    A spot check of this consignment conducted by PROV revealed some processing anomalies, which include:

    1. Files which were listed for transfer but were missing from the consignment have been replaced with a Probate Issue "file marker" indicating the file was issued.

    2. Files with multiple parts have not had their additional parts recorded and are not bundled with the original file.

    3. Files which were removed and were not listed in the consignment details, have been inserted into the numeric file number sequence.

    For Probate and Administration Files from 2009 onwards, refer to VPRS 17379 Probate and Administration Files (CourtView).

More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide070 Wills and Probate Records
    PROVguide029 Wills and Probate Records 1841 - 1925
    PROVguide068 Wills and Probate Records from 1926
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1841 - 1992 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued (Microform copy of the Probate Index and VPRS 262) VPRS 3340
1853 - 1889 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 262
1854 - 1900 Register of Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 261
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1853 Wills and Probate and Administration Files VPRS 7592
- 1992 Wills VPRS 7591
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
0 - 2009 Probate and Administration Files (CourtView) VPRS 17379
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
Displaying 1 to 20 of 42  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 3 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1841 - 1909 Part Open 1418
P0001 1853 - 1871 Open 26
P0002 1871 - 1909 Part Open 876
P0003 1909 - 1951 Part Open 5153
P0004 1951 - 1968 Open 4355
P0005 1968 - 1972 Open 1417
P0006 1972 - 1974 Open 603
P0007 1974 - 1976 Open 964
P0008 1976 - 1978 Open 825
P0009 1979 - 1979 Open 370
P0010 1980 - 1980 Open 343
P0011 1981 - 1981 Open 335
P0012 1982 - 1982 Open 336
P0013 1983 - 1983 Open 312
P0014 1984 - 1984 Open 315
P0015 1985 - 1985 Open 341
P0016 1986 - 1986 Open 335
P0017 1987 - 1987 Open 317
P0018 1988 - 1988 Open 312
P0019 1989 - 1989 Open 319
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1841 - 1992 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued (Microform copy of the Probate Index and VPRS 262) VPRS 3340
1853 - 1889 Index to Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 262
1854 - 1900 Register of Probates and Administrations Issued VPRS 261
More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide070 Wills and Probate Records
    PROVguide029 Wills and Probate Records 1841 - 1925
    PROVguide068 Wills and Probate Records from 1926