How Long Does Probate Take In Alberta?
A grant of probate is a court order confirming the validity of a will and the authority of the executor or personal representative to carry out the instructions of the deceased as set out in the will.
It is common for people acting as personal representatives to have many questions about probate and the process for probating a will in Alberta. Our Edmonton wills and estates lawyers can answer all of your questions relating to probate, including how long does probate take in Alberta?
Do You Need A Grant Of Probate?
Probating a will is not always necessary. As a personal representative or executor, you will need a grant of probate in order to transfer any real property that forms part of the estate of the deceased. Financial institutions may also require you to produce a grant of probate before they allow you to dispose of financial assets.
Real property that is owned in joint tenancy transfers automatically to the remaining tenant upon the death of one tenant and therefore does not form part of the deceased’s estate. Financial assets that have a named beneficiary, such as RRSPs, similarly do not form part of the estate.
If you are unsure, you can ask a financial institution if they will require you to probate the will in order to access the accounts of the deceased. Depending on the assets that the deceased owned, you may not require a grant of probate.
Even if you do not need to probate the will in order to distribute the estate, you may still need to apply for a grant if someone is challenging the validity of the will.
How Do You Probate A Will?
Applying for a grant of probate is a relatively simple process. You must:
- fill out the appropriate application forms, which are known as the “surrogate forms”
- publish a notice in the newspaper for those with potential claims against the estate
- serve notice of the application on the beneficiaries named in the will and other individuals as required by law
- file the completed forms with the court
- wait for the court to respond to your application.
How Long Does Probate Take?
In Alberta, it can take between several weeks and several months for the court to review your application and issue a grant of probate. The court calls you when the grant is ready, you pay the appropriate fee, and then you can pick up the grant and any certified copies that you have requested.
How Long Is Too Long?
Other than waiting for a response from the court, the other part of the probate process that may take some time is gathering all the information necessary to complete the surrogate forms. It can be difficult to make a complete list of the assets and debts of the deceased if the deceased did not keep a list somewhere. However, a personal representative is expected to be able to carry out the instructions in the will within a year of the testator’s death in most cases.
If you suspect that the personal representative of a particular estate is failing to live up to their responsibilities at your expense, there are steps you can take. Contact one of our Edmonton
estate lawyers to discuss how long probate takes in Alberta and other questions relating to wills and estates.
Contact Verhaeghe Law Office’s Wills and Estates Lawyers Today For Legal Advice On Probate in Alberta
If you require legal assistance from an Edmonton wills and estates lawyer, contact our law firm to book a consultation. Verhaeghe Law Office is proud to represent clients across Alberta. Contact our team of Edmonton estate lawyers or call us today by dialling (587) 410-2500.
*Disclaimer: Please note that this article is intended to provide a general overview of the legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. For advice regarding your legal matter, please consult with an Edmonton estate lawyer.