Probate & Estate Administration
Probate is a process in which a will is validated by a probate court, which in Alberta is the Court of Queen’s Bench. Although it is not always required that probate be obtained, it is common in the majority of estates for the personal representative to apply to the court for a Grant of Probate. For example, a Grant of Probate is required in order to sell land held by the estate.
The services provided by Lypkie Henderson include the process of applying for and obtaining a Grant of Probate from the Court of Queen’s Bench, but also include ongoing advice and direction to personal representatives.
The job of the personal representative (executor) is immense. While the primary function of a personal representative involves accounting for the estate’s assets and liabilities and determining who is to receive it, there are a large number of a tasks involved in order to obtain the final goal of distributing the estate assets. Some of the matters we commonly advise executor’s on include:
- Compiling an inventory of all financial assets
- Having all assets properly valued, listed, and disclosed in the application for grant of probate
- Accounting for changes in the value of assets
- Transferring and selling assets as needed
- Collecting debts and paying the bills of the estate
- Preparing and filing income tax returns
- Paying the medical bills and funeral expenses of the deceased
- Distributing the remaining assets as directed under the terms of the will
- Establishing trusts for minor beneficiaries
- Advising executors on how to handle Estate Litigation matters that may arise
Finally, the tax consequences imposed on executors can be substantial and require appropriate guidance in order to avoid personal liability. With extensive experience in estate planning and tax law, the lawyers at Lypkie Henderson can help you effectively manage the probate process and subsequent issues that arise.
What happens if there is no Will?
In this situation the deceased is said to have died “intestate” – which means to die without a valid will. In this situation, instead of applying for a Grant of Probate, the court order which is applied for is a Grant of Administration. The fundamental process, being the distribution of the estate assets to the rightful beneficiaries, remains the same.
Your Next Steps
Please contact one of our lawyers directly and we will be glad to speak to you about our Probate and Estate Administration services.