Estate Administration (Probate or Grant of Administration)
When an individual dies leaving behind a valid will and a designated personal representative (often referred to as an executor/executrix) to oversee and distribute the estate, that Will must often first be probated prior to the distribution of the estate’s assets. Probating a Will provides the executor with court authority to manage and distribute the assets of the estate in a specific manner (according to the instructions in the Will), and by doing so, limits the personal representative’s legal liability.
Not all Wills are required to be probated (and our firm has assisted many personal representatives to avoid the expense of such), however, where the estate includes real estate or a relatively large amount of financial assets held with financial institutions, probating the Will is likely necessary.
In some cases, individuals will pass without leaving any Will at all (this is referred to as “intestacy”). In such cases, Alberta legislation has specific rules for how the assets of such an individual will be distributed. The process for doing so generally involves the spouse, children or other relative of the deceased applying for a “Grant of Administration” from the Court in order to be provided with the necessary authority to administer the estate according to the rules governing intestacy.
Our Firm’s estate lawyers and paralegals have extensive experience with every step of the estate administration process from probate applications, to grants of administration, to overseeing the estate’s asset distribution and payment of taxes and other debts, to assisting with avoiding the probate process entirely when circumstances dictate, and for all steps in between.
To book a consultation to discuss any of the above matters, please call our office at 403-948-0009.