The Process Of Probate When Someone Passes
Many misunderstand probate and the probate process. Alberta law sets out the steps required when a person passes away with respect to their estate. In order to avoid personal liability, the person acting on the estate and making the final distributions, must follow all the required procedures. Edmonton probate lawyers help with that process to ensure that both you and the estate remain protected.
Please note: while the probate process in important. You and the family should come first. Many clients call us immediately on someone’s passing. We help at any time but always suggest that you look after yourself and your family first. Complete probate in a timely manner however, we know the emotional toll a death takes. These applications do not need to take place within the week of someone’s passing away. Whenever you feel ready, the Edmonton probate lawyers at Kahane Law Office are ready to help.
Understanding Probate In Alberta?
Probate is the process of the Alberta Surrogate Court reviewing an application but someone to administer the estate. The court looks at the deceased person’s will, the assets, debts and beneficiaries and then grants a Probate Order. Next, the order confirms the legality of a person’s last will. It also sets out who gets what from the estate. Lastly, it states who has legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. As people experiencing a bad process attest, an easy probate process starts with a great will. Connect with our wills and estates lawyers about drafting your will today.
Executor Vs Personal Representative
In short, these two titles are the exact same thing. When the Alberta government changed the law with respect to Wills and Estates, the title of the person who administers the estate changed. Previously the title was executor or executrix. The law now refers to that person as the personal representative. Feel free to use the two titles interchangeable or which ever you feel more comfortable with.
Edmonton Probate Lawyers When Someone Has No Will
If your friend or family member passes away without a will, the term used is intestate. An intestacy occurs whenever someone dies without a will. It also occurs when a will lacks key terms and assets remain in the estate without a beneficiary. In addition to probate, Edmonton probate lawyers apply to the court for Letters of Administration. This process is similar to probate, however it follows different rules and procedures. When someone dies intestate, the Provincial laws state whom benefits form the estate.
Executor / Personal Representative Estate Duties
Your Edmonton probate lawyer helps with most aspects of administering an estate. Keep reading for more details below, or use this link for more information on the detailed steps an executor must take. However, we note that some duties fall on the executor or personal representative. For example, these include:
- Facilitating the funeral or cremation and associated arrangements;
- Making and inventory of assets and debts;
- Keeping all estate assets safe and secure;
- Notifying relevant debt holders;
- Collecting government documents for return to the government, such as passports and social insurance cards;
- Preparing the final tax return (with the help of an accountant as needed);
- Paying out all debts and taxes as owed; and lastly
- Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries of the estate.
How Edmonton Probate Lawyers Help With Estate Administration
Our Edmonton probate lawyers help with all aspects of estate administration. Primarily, people think that they only assist apply for the actual grant of probate. However, they help with a lot more. For example, they assist with:
- Understanding the steps for the whole probate process;
- Give advice and direction as to the duties of the personal representative or executor.
- Help with understanding the specific clauses in a will and their interpretation;
- Prepare the paperwork to legally pass ownership to the beneficiaries;
- Determine if actual probate is a requirement in specific situations; and lastly
- Review required procedures to avoid personal liability when managing an estate.
Documentation Required By Your Edmonton Probate Lawyer
When our Edmonton probate lawyers apply for a grant of probate, they require certain documentation. We always provide you with a complete list however, to make things easier for you we include some here. For example, you need to provide:
- Tow pieces of ID for yourself (including one government issued photo identification);
- An original death certificate;
- Our executor / personal representative intake sheet;
- A complete list of debts and assets of the person who passed away; and lastly
- The original copy of the person most recent will.
Free Initial Edmonton Probate Lawyer Consultations
If you need help deciding the necessity of probating an estate, call. Some estates always need probate. This includes the deceased as sole owner of real estate. That said, we offer free consultations to help you administer the estate as it relates to probate. While we also facilitate in person meetings, we often complete these assessments over the phone or via video conference. We work with your preference.
Time It Takes Edmonton Probate Lawyers To Secure The Grant
How long it takes for the surrogate court to issue a grant of probate really depends on the estate. For the simplest regular estate, this process takes three to four months. Certain factors make the process take more time. For example, out of country executors or beneficiaries often take more time. The same is true for situations where the executor cannot find all the beneficiaries to serve them with notice. During our free initial consultation, we provide you with an estimate of time to expect the process to take.
However, where a home is involved, we offer a limited grant of probate which normally takes two to four weeks. In those situations, the finalized grant of probate takes the regular time to complete. The limited grant of probate simply allows for the sale of any home in the estate.
Do All Estates Need Edmonton Probate Lawyers?
The simple answer is no. In our initial free consultation, our Edmonton probate lawyers discuss with you if the estate requires probate or not. If not, then no need exists to hire a lawyer. However, even if you require probate, some people decide to try the process themselves, instead of hiring Edmonton probate lawyers. The concerns with doing this yourself include: attracting personal liability, increasing the time to receive the grant of probate, the multiple rejections of any or all of the documents required by the court, frustration and suspicion of beneficiaries, etc. The cost of your Edmonton probate lawyer is paid by the estate so it does not come out of your own pocket.
Hiring Edmonton Probate Lawyers
If you want us to complete the probate process for you or even want to book a free initial consultation to determine if you need probate, connect with us today. We understand the emotional and physical toll a death in the family takes. Our role is to support you. Reach out anytime. Email us here or call us when you feel ready. Call us at 1-877-225-8817, or in Edmonton (780) 571-8463. Lastly, email us directly here today to contact us. For more information, click here to watch our video on probate and probate lawyers.