Probate and Estates

Distributing assets to the beneficiaries of a will can be complex and challenging

A grant of probate will often need to take place before a person’s final wishes as stated in their will can be carried out. This is a document that is issued by the Probate Office of the Supreme Court which states that the executor has proven the will is valid.

A grant if probate can be obtained:

  • to transfer certain assets such as land (except where there is a surviving registered joint tenant who may make a survivorship application direct to land titles office);
  • if required by the asset holder, (for example, some listed companies in which the deceased held shares and banks in respect of deposits in excess of a threshold amount such as $40,000.)
  • if any claims against the estate are likely, principally claims for provision of testator family maintenance, as any claims must be made within 6 months of the date of grant of probate unless the court permits otherwise.

    Where there is no will, an application must be made to the court for the grant of letters of administration.

An executor derives his title through the will.   Therefore, it may not be necessary to obtain probate. However, an administrator only gains his title through the grant of letters of administration. The executor may (even prior to a grant of probate) commence to get in the assets of the estate and even commence proceedings in the name of the estate.  An administrator cannot commence proceedings prior to a grant of letters, such proceedings are incompetent.

We can assist with guiding you through the process of applying for probate and ensuring the distribution of assets is handles in the least stressful way.

We can advise and assist you in the areas of:

  • Application for probate
  • Distribution of assets
  • Disputed estates