HOW LONG DOES PROBATE TAKE?
We often hear people ask how long does Probate take in Alberta? Frankly, there’s just no quick answer to this. The first hurdle to overcome is that it takes considerable time for the Personal Representative to gather all the information required to submit the application for Probate. After that, it takes more time for a court to hear the application and make a decision. See How to Probate a Will in Alberta for a more detailed description of this process.
Processing the Grant of Probate
Once an application is submitted, the time it takes for a Surrogate court to issue a grant of Probate depends on the judicial district of the deceased, since the application must be submitted in the judicial district where the deceased lived at the time of death.
There are 11 judicial districts in Alberta: Calgary, Drumheller-Hanna, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge-Macleod, Medicine Hat, Peace River, Red Deer, St. Paul, and Wetaskiwin. For a complete description of boundaries and maps, see the Judicial Districts Regulation.
Generally speaking, courts in larger judicial centers like Calgary or Edmonton take longer to issue a grant. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months – or even longer if an application is rejected at any point due to incomplete or inaccurate information in the application documents.
After the Grant Approval
Once the grant is approved, the Personal Representative will proceed to complete his or her remaining duties. See Personal Representative Duties. There is no way to predict how long any one administration will take, since each situation is different and unique, depending on the complexity of the Estate and the deceased’s personal and financial affairs.
A Personal Representative will typically have up to one year to finish administering an Estate, but the Canada Revenue Agency sometimes delays things further if there is a requirement to obtain a “Clearance Certificate” before distributing the assets of the estate. Obtaining this certificate can itself be a lengthy, drawn out process involving several months to over a year.
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.
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