DO YOU HAVE TO PROBATE A WILL?
The short answer is no. If your Estate is fairly small and simple, and things were provided for in a properly prepared Will, a Personal Representative may proceed to administer an Estate without Probate. This is commonly the case where assets were jointly owned between married or common law spouses. Where there are third party interests involved (such as financial institutions, or the land registry office), you must contact them directly to find out whether they will allow you to proceed without a Probate application – and if so, what exactly they will need to get assurance that the Will is satisfactory and that all things are in order without Probate.
When is Probate Required?
Often you have no choice but to go through the Probate process, even if the deceased left a valid Will. Banks and other financial institutions commonly require you to go through Probate so they can satisfy themselves that the Will is in fact valid and so they aren’t surprised by another Will or further complications down the road. Generally speaking, the law in Alberta requires you to Probate a Will in the following circumstances:
- There is no surviving spouse as a joint tenant.
- There are real estate assets that are in the sole name of the deceased only.
- There is a substantial amount of money in bank accounts and other investments.
- There are questions about the validity of the will, or there is no will.
- The deceased’s estate is the beneficiary of benefits from registered retirement plans.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions that aren’t answered on our site, or to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to chat with you about any of your legal needs.There are real estate assets that are in the sole name of the deceased only’
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