Wills & Estates, September 28, 2023 - by Lypkie Henderson

Navigating the Probate Process in Alberta: What You Need to Know

The passing of a close family member is always a challenging time. At a moment when you may wish only to focus on the grieving process, an array of administrative demands can suddenly appear if you must act as a personal representative of a will, commonly known as a will executor, in Alberta. While some estates are simple and easy to administer, that’s not always true—and you may need to engage with the courts to navigate the probate process.

A probate lawyer in Edmonton can be a valuable resource during this difficult period. To understand why such a resource might be worth your time, let’s explore what you need to understand about probate.

What is probate?

Probate refers to enforcing an individual’s last will and testament. To minimize disputes and maximize fairness, a court will oversee the process and work with the estate’s personal representative. There are often deadlines and timelines involved to satisfy the probate process.

Who must go through the probate process?

Generally, most estates will require probate. Exceptions can include situations where the deceased shared clear joint ownership of assets with an inheritor or in very small or low-value estates. If the deceased had sole possession of considerable resources, you should expect to engage with the court. If the deceased has no will, their estate may need a Grant of Administration.

A glance at the overall process

The first step in the process requires filing for probate in the courts. Once granted and the court assigns oversight, you can settle the estate. You will need to navigate efforts such as:

  • Reading the will and determining its validity and how to carry out its instructions.
  • Obtaining the death certificate.
  • Determining which assets fall under the scope of the probate process.
  • Locating those assets (i.e., authenticating all bank accounts, investment portfolios, real estate purchases, and so forth).
  • Valuing the estate.
  • Notifying potential estate beneficiaries, the creditors of the deceased and any claimants.
  • Paying creditors and settling the estate’s debts, e.g., funeral costs.
  • Distributing assets.
  • Paying taxes.
  • Closing the estate.

As we can see, there are many steps to this process—and this only scratches the surface of the level of detail required. Though it can seem overwhelming to be a will executor in Alberta, you don’t have to do it alone.

See How Lawyers Can Help You During This Time

At Lypkie Henderson, we can connect you with an experienced probate lawyer in Edmonton who can help you. You shouldn’t need to spend time untangling the law after confronting the funeral process and other challenges. With our clear understanding of the law and deep experience with many estates in probate, we can help you meet deadlines and confidently administer your loved one’s estate. Speak with us today to learn more.

Lypkie Henderson Author

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We know that many areas of law can be overwhelming. Whether it’s your estate, job, or business, mountains of legal documents should be the least of your worries. Let us take care of the details so you can move forward confidently into the future.