What is Probate in Alberta?
Do I Need Probate?
If you are administering an estate in Alberta, one of the decisions you will be faced with is whether to probate the Will. You will soon be asked by financial institutions and other organizations whether you will be getting probate.
What is Probate?
Basically, getting probate is the process by which the executor of an estate applies to the Surrogate Court of Alberta to get the Will “verified” or “approved.” A Judge of the Surrogate Court of Alberta will review the Will and the estate inventory and if satisfied, will issue Letters of Probate. This will be a document issued by the Surrogate Court, which can be relied upon by everybody dealing with the estate.
In What Circumstances Will I Need Probate?
If there is land in the estate, the Alberta Land Titles Office requires the executor to obtain probate. If there is no land, then you may still require probate if the estate contains more than about $30,000.00 with a financial institution. Most financial institutions have a policy that they will not release any funds unless the Will is probated, or the estate is relatively small.
How Much Does Probate Cost?
The Alberta Courts charge a fee to process a probate application. In Alberta, the maximum fee the Surrogate Court charges for a probate application is about $600.00. On top of that, if the executor hires a lawyer to do the application to Court for probate, then there will be legal fees as well.
How Long Does It Take to Get Probate?
To make an application to the Surrogate Court of Alberta for probate, you need first to do a very comprehensive and complete inventory of the estate, complete with values of the assets. Once this information is gathered, and the application is complete and submitted to Surrogate Court, it will usually be processed in about three weeks.