Getting Through Probate: A Waiting Game
When it comes to administering a will, everyone naturally wants to complete the process as quickly as possible. An extremely common question is, how long will it take to probate an estate? Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer. There are many factors that come into play. Some steps are procedural others will take longer if the wrong documents are used or used incorrectly. Kahane Law (Calgary, Alberta) is dedicated to speeding up the probate process for you. Call today 403-225-8810 for more information on how we can help or keep reading.
There are many different steps involved in the entire probate process, and each one can take different amounts of time, depending upon the complexity of the estate. The steps required can include:
The executor will first need to gather all of the necessary information and documents to apply for the probate. If the estate is large and complex, this step alone can require a substantial amount of time. As we will discuss later, it is important for the executor to take the time necessary to ensure that all of the information is included and accurate.
Applying for Probate and Receiving Approval
Next, the application materials will be submitted to the courts. The application will be submitted to the court located in the district where the deceased last lived. In Alberta, this could be Calgary, St. Paul, Medicine Hat, or any of the other 11 judicial districts.
After the application is submitted, a waiting game ensues. Some districts, especially the smaller districts, will sometimes grant a probate in one or two weeks. Larger judicial districts, like Calgary, take approximately 6 – 9 weeks to just review the file. The amount of waiting time will depend on many different factors, including the number of applications the courts have received around that time.
Dealing with Application Problems
The amount of time it takes to receive a grant of probate in Alberta will be influenced heavily by whether or not there are any inaccuracies or other problems on the application.
After waiting weeks, the executor may receive a rejection notice from the courts due to problems such as incomplete or inaccurate information. It is the executor’s responsibility to fix the information and re-submit the application. Then, the waiting process starts over. If the application is rejected multiple times, this can easily extend the entire probate process by months.
Obtaining a Clearance Certificate
In some cases, even after the grant of probate is issued, the executor may still have to wait before being able to distribute the assets. The Canada Revenue Agency may require a Clearance Certificate before any assets are released. Receiving this certificate can take several months or more than a year.
Executing the Will
Once all of the applications have been sent and approved, the executor of the estate can then start the process of distributing assets to beneficiaries. This step can actually be quite difficult, depending upon the size and complexity of the estate, the number of beneficiaries, and any creditors that are owed.
The executor is responsible for many different tasks, including notifying insurance companies and the holders of assets, locating and contacting the beneficiaries, paying debts and obligations, and distributing assets. Coordinating all of these arrangements can take several weeks to many months.
Keeping Track of the Probate Process
Anyone who is appointed as the executor or representative of an estate must be very organized and ready to handle potentially complex legal and financial issues. To gain a better understanding of how complicated and involved the entire probate process can be in Alberta, you can view the surrogate checklist provided by the Alberta Courts.
One look at this checklist will make it clear that undertaking the probate procedure is very complicated, and can be quite confusing and time consuming. Obtaining legal support can be an invaluable tool in helping you navigate through the complexities of the Surrogate court and probate procedure.
Getting Help from Probate Lawyers
The Calgary probate lawyers and estate lawyers at Kahane Law Office can help you when a family member or loved one has passed away and you are executor for them. You can reach us at 403-225-8810 locally or toll-free at 1-877-225-8817, or email us directly here today to contact us. For more information, click here to watch our video on probate and probate lawyers.