Is it necessary to Probate a Will?

In the vast majority of Estates it is necessary to obtain Probate of the deceased’s Will.

The main reason is that the majority of Estates include real property – whether it is the deceased’s primary residence or other real estate holdings. The Alberta Land Titles Office will not permit land to be transferred unless a Grant of Probate is obtained.

Another key reason for obtaining a Grant of Probate is that banking and financial institutions will generally not release funds to a Personal Representative unless Probate is obtained. The reason for this is simple – how does the bank know who is the proper Personal Representative? What happens if the Bank were to release funds to the wrong person or to a person who was attempting to defraud the Estate? In that situation, the Bank would likely be liable to the Estate for the funds which were improperly released. Therefore, in order to protect against this it is the practice of the majority of financial institutions to require a Grant of Probate before funds are released to the Personal Representative.

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