Probate is a court process that confirms that a will is valid. Meaning, that its instructions can be followed, and that an executor has the legal authority to act/ deal with a loved one’s assets.
For many, it can be a complicated process during an emotional time.
The probate process involves filing the original will, various application documents, and a list of the assets and liabilities of the Estate.
Once a grant of probate is ordered by the court, the executor has the responsibility of administering the estate, paying debts, and distributing assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.
Probate is not required in every situation.
However, it is almost always required in cases where the estate of the deceased has:
- Real estate;
- Stocks or government bonds;
- Assets greater than $30,000.
If you are an executor who would like to speak with our probate lawyer to determine if probate is needed and to help you navigate the process, please contact us today.
- Beneficiary: An individual in a will or a trust to receive benefits
- Descendant: Children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren among other relatives in the direct line of descent
- Estate: Property, such as cash, real estate, and financial accounts owned by an individual
- Executor: Individual named in the will to carry out the terms as listed in the will
- Intestate: the condition or state of dying in which no will is made
Probate: legal process by which a will is accepted as valid
- Wills, Estates, and Succession Act: Also called the WESA Act, is the British Columbia statute responsible for listing out the legal principles for creating and validating wills, distributing estate without a will, claims over will’s variation, and administration of estates.
- Will’s variation: legal claim made by the spouse or a child about inadequate provisions for support or maintenance
What Does your Estate Include?
Simply put, anything you own which can be dealt with by way of your will is part of your estate.
It is important to understand that each estate is composed of different items and it can be impossible to name all the individual items that could comprise one. However, these are the most common elements included in an estate:
- bank accounts
- real estate
- investments, including bonds, stocks, mutual funds, term deposits, futures, and GICs
- chattels or tangible personal property, such as jewellery, furniture, clothes, and books
- RRSPs and RRIFs
- life insurance, when payable to your estate
- debts owed to you
- intellectual property
- assets of unincorporated businesses
- pension fund refunds