One reason we chucked everything
in and hit the road was that we were sick of dealing with
dogma and bureaucracy, and, for the last three years we've
largely avoided the day-to-day BS that most people have to
That was until my Dad died, and
we were dragged kicking and screaming back into that world,
a world of paper work and forms.
In fact it's three worlds because
everything has to be in triplicate. Not just the forms, everything.
It took three trips into the motor registry to change Dad's
car into our name, three trips into the bank to close his
account, etc. etc. etc.
It's just so bloody frustrating
dealing with institutions and people who really don't give
a rodent's posterior. There have been exceptions, but not
As I write this editorial we have just about got everything
sorted and are relaxing on our new acquisition, several acres of near-virgin
It's been very traumatic, and all
I can ask is, "Dad, please don't do that again"
Till next time then, and remember,
Don't Dream it, Be it!
Fri 28 Oct 2005
One of my cousins has invited me to stay for a while. We haven't
seen each other for forty-something years, so it seems like a good
idea to catch up some. Besides, I need a change of location, I've
been staying with Margaret, my Dad's friend, and she has been fantastic,
feeding me, washing my socks, and generally being supportive at
a time when I didn't want to deal with such matters.
She has been great, but I'm sleeping in the same
room that my Dad occupied until a few days ago, I need to get away.
I spend a few hours sitting down on the bay, thinking
about my Dad, then drive around to Robyn and Rob's. There's a family
get together tomorrow, I hope I don't have any other cousins answering
to the name Rob, it may get confusing.
Sun 30 Oct 2005
I'll move house again today, this time to stay with Tony, an old
friend and workmate of mine from the 80's. Tony picks me up from
my cousin's at around 10, and we head south to Frankston in his
flash Holden Calais.
His house isn't quiet as flash, but then Tony
makes part of his income from buying the worst house in the street
and renovating it, and this place is a recent acquisition.
Mon 31 Oct 2005
After spending the day reminiscing about previous workplaces and
workmates, it's finally time to fly, literally.
Tony drives me to the airport, the traffic is
better than expected and we arrive much earlier than required, so
I sit in the departure lounge with my thoughts.
I wonder where my Dad is now, not physically of
course, I know where his body lies, but what of his "spirit"
if there is such a thing. Does he know the answer to that question
we all ask? Or was there just nothing?
Flight 653 is boarding and I take my place in
the queue. Hopefully my next visit to Melbourne will be a happier
Tue 1 Nov 2005
We arrived back at the farm at around 2AM and so don't rise until
late in the morning.
We have to drive down to Bundaberg to sort out
my Dad's affairs, but originally planned to have a rest day first.
However we have both pretty much had it with being here, so we decide
to head off today, even if we only get a few kilometres down the
After some shopping in Mareeba we drive to Rocky
Creek just outside Atherton. It's not far, about 70 kilometres,
but at least we've moved.
At around beer o'clock I get talking to some other
campers. They are espousing the virtues of travelling slow and, when
they learn that I camped here last April, they ask where I've been
in the intervening six months.
"Just to Dimbulah and back" I answer.
Wed 2 Nov 2005
We make a late start and by five have only done
about 250k. We pull over onto a flat area beside the road near the
locality known as The Lynd Junction. There's nothing here, just
the road and the bush.
Thu 3 Nov 2005
While driving I notice an interesting river bed and bookmark it
as a potential photo spot. Just a couple of kilometres further down
the road we come across the campground at Fletcher Creek, it's a
great looking campsite that we noticed six months ago on our northbound
Next time we will stay here, and for at least
a week I think.
Today however we just continue. The road is terrible,
but I remembered a gravel pit near a river about 90k south of the
Towers (Charters Towers), the pit also marks the end of the bad
road. Chris is driving ahead and pulls into the very spot, just
next to Cape River.
We'll stay here tonight.
About a week or so ago I noticed a gecko in the
truck, they're harmless little things and, as they eat bugs and
are fun to watch, they are normally welcome in a house.
Well tonight the gecko reappeared, he walked right
passed me on the fly screen. He's a cute little fellow and I've
decided to name him, henceforth he shall be known as Graham.
I hope Graham is happy to head south for the summer.
Fri 4 Nov 2005
We drive all day through Belyando Crossing, Clermont, Emerald and
Blackwater, putting in 470k, nearly the longest day we've ever done,
finally stopping just outside the town of Bluff.
With the highway on one side, croaking frogs on
another, and a railway on the third, it's pretty noisy. I suspect
we'll have an early start tomorrow.
Sat 5 Nov 2005
I was right, at 5:30 Chris is up and about, and she makes sure I'm
not far behind.
We hit the road at about six and drive all day,
finally pulling into the rest area at Gin Gin.
Sun 6 Nov 2005
We finally arrive at Bargara. The house is just as my Dad left it,
spare reading glasses on an open magazine, the dustpan and brush
on the kitchen bench, still laden with dirt as though the taxi arrived
before he had time to finish cleaning. A bottle of ginger beer in
the fridge, he did enjoy a quiet ginger beer before tea. A CD lying
near the computer, "backup Oct 05" reads the label, there
will be no more.
It's all here, waiting for him to come back.
Tue 8 Nov 2005
Today we start sorting and cleaning up. I couldn't face it yesterday,
but we have to start sometime I guess.
Wed 9 Nov 2005
Still sorting out stuff. It's quite a daunting task, even though
my parents didn't have that much. They moved 22 times during their
50-odd years of marriage (I wonder where I got the travel bug from?),
and each time they threw out a lot of stuff. So there's not much
left really, but still a lot by our standards.
Of course some of it is ours, here because there's
no room in the truck. What are we going to do with it?
Thu 10 Nov 2005
I always knew we could trace the Gray family back a ways, but today
I find some documentation from the Elgin district in Scotland that
mentions a Robert Gray in 1291. That's over 700 years ago.
I've been to Elgin, it was strange to find that
half the headstones in the grounds of the ruined cathedral have
the name Gray chiseled deeply into the stone. The other have a surname
of Allan, another branch of our family.
Most of these headstones were documented by my
parents in the 70's. There's also supposed to be a family home called
Bishopmill still in existence.
I believe it's now a pub, how nice.
Fri 11 Nov 2005
We found a very old book about Greyfriars Bobby today. Greyfriars
Bobby was a famous dog that refused to leave his master's side,
even after the man died. The little terrier lived on, and near,
his master's grave in Edinburgh from 1858 until he also died in
1872. It's a touching story, and the subject of at least one movie.
So what? you ask.
Well the book had a newspaper clipping in it with
another account of the story. And guess what? The owner of the dog
was one John Gray.
I don't know if he was related to our family or
not, but why then is the clipping here?
I must admit I'm getting more than a little interested
in this family history stuff.
I took yet another load to the tip today. As I
pour out the things that made up my father's life I nearly weaken
and retrieve some items. But there's no point, we have nowhere to
put them, and anyway, that was my Dad's life, not mine. I'll remember
him without a car full of trinkets.
I'm finding it easier being in the house now,
as we clear out and tidy up, the place is looking less like my Dad's
home, and more like just another house.
And I'm not interested in houses.
Mon 14 Nov 2005
I used to think that the English had the worst-ever system of measurements.
Let's take the yard for example. At some point in antiquity it was
determined that a measure was needed that was longer than a foot
(don't ask) and shorter than a mile. Presumably someone said something
"I know, let's get the king to hold out one
arm and point over there, then we'll use the distance between his
index finger and his nose as this new measurement"
"Righto, that's a good idea, but what will
we call this new length?"
Everyone thought for a minute, then, as one, their
gaze followed the king's outstretched arm, across the patio, and
into the backyard.
"Let's call it a yard" they all chorused.
And then there's the currency, you start with
a penny, nothing wrong with that I guess. But there's 12 of them
to a shilling (hands up all those with 12 fingers), 2 shillings
to a florin, 5 shillings to a crown, 20 shillings to a pound, or
21 to a guinea.
The mind boggles.
The reason for this pontification is that I think
I've just found a worse system.
While trying to determine the age of a book, I
see the date MDCCLXXXVI on the half-title page. My Roman numeral
skills aren't what they used to be, so I do a quick web search.
MDCCLXXXVI = 1786
Of course, don't know why I didn't get that one.
To be fair it's not too bad when you break it up.
M = 1000
D = 500
C = 100, therefore DCC = 500 + 100 + 100 = 700
L = 50
XXX = 30, therefore LXXX = 50 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 80
V = 5
I = 1, therefore VI = 5 + 1 = 6
Kind of rolls off the tongue doesn't it?
Can you just imaging buying a new chariot in ancient
"How much for the convertible over there
mate, the one with the chrome scimitars on the hubs?"
"That one's em dee cee cee ell ecks ecks
ecks vee eye, plus on-road costs of about ell ecks ecks"
"What! they're only em dee cee cee ell ecks
ecks vee eye down at Centurion Motors"
"We can match them, and throw in a set of
reigns valued at cee ecks ecks ecks vee eye eye"
"Is that the best you can do?"
"Wait a minute, I'll look at the list price"
... "OK, we can do the chariot for em dee cee cee ell ecks
ecks vee eye, we'll pay the on-road costs, we'll throw in the reigns
AND a helmet. Remember, this chariot is locally made, none of that
cheap imported crap from Gaul, or my name ain't Maximus Supercilious".
While clearing some pot plants form the veranda
I disturb a colony of ants. There are thousands of larvae, and the
grown-ups immediately begin to pick them up and carry them to safety.
I get a few quick shots then return to work.
Worker ants try to pick up a soldier larvae that's already twice their size
Mon 21 Nov 2005
For some time now we've had half an eye out for a block of land,
nothing too flash mind, just somewhere we could leave some stuff
in a shed or something.
We've done nothing serious about it for two reasons,
firstly we haven't had enough spare money, and secondly, some friends,
and then my Dad, have been able to store some of the things we don't
need at the moment, or that won't fit in the motorhome.
With the death of my father the problem has come
to a head. We have to sell Dad's house, but really don't want to
impose on our friends again.
Fortunately the problem is also the solution.
We can use some of my inheritance to buy a block of land.
So today we set out to find a suitable block.
We like the area around here, the climate is great, and of course
this is where we happen to be right now, which makes it easy to
look. We search the web and do find a promising block up near Darwin,
but the logistics of going there to view it, then getting all our
gear up there, is too difficult.
So we drive into town and do the rounds of the
real estate agents.
The first agent we speak to has something he feels
might be suitable. On looking at the contours on the map, and discussing
some other features, I get a good feeling about it, so we drive
out to have a look.
The block is hilly, but fortunately the access track runs
along a ridge line and only has a moderate incline. At the top of the track
is a clear and flat section. The rest of the block is heavily timbered, and
quite steep with deep gullies.
Looking down the 400-metre "driveway".
Looking along one of the ridges. The track goes along here
then gets extremely steep as it climbs "our" hill.
Most of the block is steep and wooded
We do like the block but don't want to buy the
first thing we see, so we plan to drive around and look at some
more properties the agent had told us about. However we run out
of time, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.
On our return to town I spot an ACCO on the side
of the road. It belongs to the Bingera sugar mill.
A motorhome in waiting?
When we get home I ring about the truck. It's
not for sale right now, but the owner reckons "If it gives
us any trouble next rego it will be". I just may keep in touch,
you never know when you may want to build another motorhome.
Tue 22 Nov 2005
Before leaving town we check out some shipping containers, with
a view to dropping one on whichever block we buy. We can get a good
one in Brisbane for about $2700, but the trouble is they are in
Brisbane. Add $800 to ship it up here.
Locally you pay about $3300, a bit pricey, but
at least it's not far to move it.
Having satisfied ourselves that a container is
a viable option, we head back out to Gin Gin to look at the blocks
we didn't have time for yesterday.
About 30k out of Bundaberg we're cruising along
the highway when our feet are simultaneously drenched by water coming
through the air vents. At the same time I smell radiator water.
I pull over as fast as possible and investigate.
A piece of steel pipe that forms part of the cooling
system has rusted through and the end has disintegrated, leaving
the attached hose swinging in the breeze and spewing water.
No problem, I have some spare hose, I can clean
up the end of the steel pipe and attach a new length of hose.
I'll just get some tools out and make a start.
That's right, I remember now, I put them all back
in the truck a couple of weeks ago just before we started to head
south. I reasoned that the two vehicles would be travelling together,
and therefore the Cruiser didn't really need to carry any tools.
Fortunately we are fully equipped for a picnic.
You can do a lot with a sharp fruit knife and a bottle opener.
In about ten minutes we are back on the road,
but I don't feel comfortable driving on some of the semi-remote
roads until I do the repairs properly.
We turn around and head back to Bundy. Chris thinks
it's an omen, we are not supposed to see any other blocks.
Wed 23 Nov 2005
We're out block hunting again. We'll try to view the blocks to the
south of Gin Gin for the third time, hopefully we'll have a bit
more luck today.
After hours of driving around, climbing fences,
and walking through the bush we arrive back at the first one we
looked at two days ago.
I liked it from the start, and have really just
being looking at other properties in an attempt to prove to myself
that it was the best.
Chris liked it as well, but wasn't as immediately
"sold" on it as I was.
This time however we realise that the block's
boundary is a bit further to the east than we originally thought.
This means that it incorporates nice flat spot with good views over
Chris is now convinced we should buy this block.
We have lunch while admiring the view and pretending
that the land is ours, then drive into town to see the agent.
We park on the spot with the best views.
The view from that spot
Thu 24 Nov 2005
We put money down on the block. All going well with title searches
etc. it will be ours on the 16th of December.
Sun 27 Nov 2005
We go up to the block to have a good look around. There's a storm
on the horizon when we arrive, but we go for a walk anyway. By the
time we're about half way around the property the storm is on top
of us, and we leg it back to the car.
Sitting out the storm
It's quite pleasant sitting here listening to
the rain on the roof.
We return to town just in time to see a fantastic
sky, the aftermath of the storm.
One of the street lights in the retirement village
Thu 1 Dec 2005
Another frustrating day dealing with financial institutions. Every
time we ring someone we get a different person and a different answer.
In the past we have used this phenomenon to get the answer we wanted,
ie. just keep ringing until they say what we want to hear.
It's a double-edged sword though. When you get
the right answer first off it pays to ring again anyway and speak
to another call-centre crony. If the second answer is different
then you have to find out which one is right, and invariably discover
that there is a third possibility.
It's unbelievably frustrating, and something that
most people encounter all the time I suppose. Is it any wonder we're
all dying from stress-related illness.
Fri 2 Dec 2005
It looks like the block purchase is going through so we drive out
to the local hire company to pick a container. The ones we looked
at the other day have all been hired out or sold, so we have to
It's absolutely bucketing down and we're well
and truly wet after crossing the few metres of open space to the
office. The rain increases so we run back to the first container,
fortunately the doors are open so we can go straight inside. At
least this is a good day to check if they leak.
I'm so wet now that it doesn't matter, so I just
walk to the second container.
We choose one and will pay for it at the shop
front on Monday, as they don't take cards here at the depot.
We have another storm this afternoon, and another
The Lodge, incorporating the office and central meeting and
activities areas for the village.
My Dad's house
Sun 4 Dec 2005
Today I have Stephen, Shane and Phillip (some local photographer
types) come around to chat. I really enjoy talking photography and
seldom have the chance, so I'm looking forward to their arrival.
While talking we notice the lorikeets in the bushes,
Stephen and I take a few shots.
A cheeky-looking lorikeet in the bushes near our back veranda
Mon 5 Dec 2005
We paid for the container this morning, the plan is to have it delivered
to the block on Thursday.
Tue 6 Dec 2005
After getting different answers from everyone about the requirement
for probate we finally decide that we cannot get around it, so we're
seeing a solicitor.
Most institutions are happy with copies of wills
and death certificates, some just want a signed indemnity form,
and others will accept an indemnity bond, while others (read "banks")
NOTE: Explanations of some
relevant terms at the bottom if this diary.
We explain to the solicitor why we need probate,
that is, that we will be receiving cheques made out to "The
estate of J D Gray" and the bank will not allow us access to
the funds without probate.
"You can just endorse them to a solicitor's
trust account" he says, "Then the solicitor can write
you a cheque for the same amount...it's called..." he pauses
searching for the correct term, but I interject,
He laughs, and decides that's a good enough expression.
It makes a mockery of the bank's process, they
will not clear any funds made out to "The estate of..."
without probate. But any solicitor can just give you the money.
The bank will not even reimburse us out of my
Dad's account for the funeral expenses. We're pretty pissed off
with this particular bank, none of the money we get from the estate
will be passing through their doors that's for sure.
Which bank? Westpac.
Wed 7 Dec 2005
Tom (a neighbour) came around this morning to ask my advice on photocopying
death certificates. I am able to set him straight, never thought
I'd be the local death certificate expert. A distinction I could
Thu 8 Dec 2005
The container is being delivered today. We have arranged for it
to be delivered at 10:30, this will give us some time to scout the
area for the best place to drop it. We leave with a view to arriving
at 9:30, thus giving us an hour before he arrives.
At about 9:10, while we are on the road, we get
a call. The truck driver is already there.
I should have done my nut, but I'm normally too
easy going for that. I just don't understand the attitude of most
people though, and I'm not just talking tradesmen. If you say you
will be somewhere at X o'clock then that's when you should turn
up. Not 10 to X, not 10 past X, X. Early is just as bad as late,
often it's even worse. Even for a dinner with friends, your hosts
may need the extra ten minutes to clean up, or have a shower, there's
all sorts of reasons why you should be on time.
If I'm early I sit around the corner until the
Anyway we just make him wait until we decide where
it will go. Fortunately we have half an idea already, based on our
memory of the block, and just need to have a look to make sure the
position is OK. But we really wanted an hour to think about other
The container gets dropped onto its new resting place
The ground is sloping so I have brought out some
concrete blocks to level the container. Unfortunately it slides
too quickly from the truck and falls off the blocks. I'll have to
jack it up later and rearrange things.
As we drive back to town we see a newly-moved
house, sitting in the middle of a field. It used to be pretty common
to buy, or even be given, an old house and move it somewhere else.
Apparently though this practice has declined due to the increasingly
strict regulations regarding moving such large objects on the roads.
Complying with stricter rules increases the cost, so it's not as
good a way of getting a cheap house as it used to be.
Newly transported house, sitting on blocks of wood while waiting
to be stumped
And now on another subject, heat waves. There's
been a lot of talk on the news these past few days about the "heat
wave" conditions, and it's only been about 33 degrees. If these
conditions were in Europe I would understand the air time devoted
to it, but this is Queensland, that's what happens up here.
Sun 11 Dec 2005
This morning I discovered a lot of bees entering the roof space
of my Dad's house via some ventilation holes in the eaves. It looks
like they are making a little home in there. I suppose I'll tell
management, but I really don't care if we have bees in the roof,
as long as they stay there.
The trouble is, once inside the roof space the
brightest thing they can see is the skylight above the toilet, so,
when the time comes to leave the hive and forage, they make a bee-line
(sorry) for the skylight.
The skylight is sealed to the sky, but quite open
to the toilet, therefore the loo is swarming with bees. Well a few
at least. Most of the time we ignore our guests, but Chris draws
the line at sitting on them, so I take action when there are some
in the bowl.
Tonight I notice that there a several on the floor
in the hall, I'll have to be careful if I go for a midnight wee,
don't want to stand on the little fellows, they might get angry.
Mon 12 Dec 2005
We're moving our stuff out to the block today. To that end we've
hired a small (3-tonne) truck from Avis, and by around 11 it's loaded.
We have a lot of gear in the Cruiser as well, and Chris will follow
me in the that.
But not before she buys something for lunch, I'm
already peckish, and by the time I get there I'll be starving.
About 30k from town my phone rings. Chris can't
get the Cruiser into gear. She nearly got stuck at the lights, and
just managed to limp into the shopping centre car park.
"Sounds like clutch fluid" I say, "top
it up, there's some in the back".
Five minutes later I get another call, it's all
systems go. But that won't be the end of it.
We spend the next few hours packing the container,
then head back home.
Tue 13 Dec 2005
The men from a local second-hand store come this morning, they have
already quoted to take everything, and today they are picking up.
This is a good deal as far as we are concerned,
they pay bugger all, but even that was roughly what we estimated
we would get at a garage sale. And this way we don't have to advertise,
hang around for days, haggle, and still take most of it to the tip
or the Salvos.
These people take everything, what they don't
want to place in their shop will go to the local charities.
It's a win win deal as far as I'm concerned.
Chris goes into town and has clutch trouble again.
Wed 14 Dec 2005
I go into town and have clutch trouble, having to stop twice and
refill the fluid. On my return I get underneath the car and get
Chris to pump the clutch pedal. One push tells me all I need to
know, the slave cylinder is knackered.
A quick ring-around finds a replacement part (new)
for $20, I'll get it tomorrow.
Meanwhile there's some more packing to do, plus
I want to research the price of a flight to Tasmania, I may be flying
down there to photograph some of the wilderness areas.
While sitting at the computer the power fails.
I'm getting pretty sick of the unreliable power in this area, that's
the fourth time in as many weeks.
Chris suggests that I check the circuit breakers,
and on opening the power box I see that the main breaker is indeed
in the off position. I also see a card from Ergon Energy, the local
That's right, I remember now, we organised for
the power to be cut off today.
I turn the power back on and return to the computer,
turning on the air conditioner as I walk passed. Now that they've
taken a final reading we can use all the power we like :-)
Soon after I need to make a phone call. I pick
up the handset and start to dial. Immediately I get a message "This
line has been disconnected, to have it re connected please contact..."
Bugger, I also thought that disconnecting the
phone on the 14th would be a good idea. I don't know why, we are
supposed to vacate the house tomorrow, so the 15th would have been
a more appropriate date.
At around sunset we see the blackest cloud imaginable
heading our way. Our neighbours, Ken and Helen, see it too, and,
given the recent severe hail storms south east Queensland has been
getting, they decide to cover their car.
They're both elderly and are having trouble handling
the tarp in the wind. So we run across the road to help.
We almost get it tied down when Chris has a brain
wave, our garage is empty (the Cruiser doesn't fit), why not just
put their car in there. Helen drives the car across the road and
parks it in our garage. I guess we've built up some good Karma there.
Thu 15 Dec 2005
We have to go into town today to get the slave cylinder, I can't
trust the Cruiser, so I get the motorbike out.
Ken sees the bike and asks why we are using it.
On hearing of our clutch problem he promptly offers the use of his
car, I accept, and thereby equalise my Karma.
The car in question is actually my Dad's. When
Ken heard that we intended to sell it he made an offer. He's a nice
old fella, and selling to him meant we didn't have to advertise,
so the deal was done.
Apparently Ken had the same clutch problem in
his previous car, he paid $500 to have it fixed. I like the sound
of $20 plus an hour of my time better.
On our return the Cruiser cannot be put into gear
with the engine running. I have to move it over to the truck because
that's where all the tools are, and to do so requires a couple of
reverse/forward moves, so a few key starts are in order.
Soon after the new slave cylinder is in place
and we're back on the road.
Fri 16 Dec 2005
We mean to leave today but won't be ready in time. Even though we
are nearly packed, it's not quite nearly enough. Also I have to
go into town to pick up two solar panels from the FWD shop.
We plan to add the panels to the roof of the Cruiser
where they will charge the second battery when we are out and about
away from the truck, and augment the truck's solar system when we're
We could leave tomorrow or on Sunday, but I want
to run the truck by the mechanic at a local spring shop, and they
aren't open on the weekend. So we decide to leave on Monday.
The purchase of the block settled today, we are
now land owners again.
A a supreme court ruling that the will is valid. It's a relatively
complicated process that involves submitting forms to the court
and advertising in newspapers and a legal journal to see if anyone
disputes your claim to the will. It takes about six weeks (if it
Depending on the institution you are dealing with,
and the state you are in, you may not need probate. We managed to
do everything without it.
A form where you give indemnity to the institution for any future
claims against the estate. In other words, you are saying that the
will is legal and that you are the person that should get the money.
No self-interest there, how that can be valid I have no idea.
To have shares transferred to your name the company may accept an
indemnity bond in place of probate. Depending on the size of the
share holding the bond will cost you as much as probate, and it's
only good for one holding, multiple holdings, multiple bonds. However,
it is quick, and can be organized in a few days.
Any cheques you get will be made out to "The estate of..."
so you can't just bank them into your account. You can however endorse
them to a solicitor's trust account and he can give you the money.
But you can't just endorse them to your own account. Go figure.
The bank will pay for reasonable disbursements out of the deceased
account, for example they will pay for the funeral.
They will only pay directly to, for example, the
funeral parlor. You cannot pay yourself and then get reimbursed
without getting a letter from the parlor to the affect that you
are the one that paid the costs. The fact that you have a receipt
made out to you is irrelevant. (Duh!)
Try to think of everything because the idiots
on the phone don't care. For example, we asked several times if
we needed probate to close my Dad's account and take the money.
On every occasion the answer was "No".
However when we asked there was only a few thousand
in the account. Then we got to thinking, "What if there was
more money in that account?"
We rang again and asked, sure enough, if there
is more than $30,000 you need probate. If we put a cheque into that
account, and the balance goes above $30,000, we can no longer get
ANY of the money out without probate.
Copies of death certificates and wills
You will need a lot of these and they will have to be notarised
by a JP (or Commissioner of Oaths/Declarations). The poor JP has
to write on the back of each one, so we ran them all through a printer
and printed "I certify that I have seen the original..."
on the back of every copy. (get the exact phrase from your JP)
Then the JP only has to sign and stamp them.
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