Other third parties also insist on probate when dealing with executors, including the land registry office and the Canada Revenue Agency. The scenarios described above are only a sampling of the situations in which an Executor may be able to avoid applying for a Grant of Probate. The probate process is not nearly as time-consuming or cost-involved as people often assume. In Alberta, the maximum Probate Fee payable is $400. Fees for probate in Alberta, Canada are worth it to minimize risks and complications, compared to what could happen if you decide not to go through the probate process. Contact Ahlstrom Wright for more information about this and other areas of Wills & Estate Law. Nevertheless, many commonly held beliefs about probate are half-truths or even untrue altogether. While a grant of probate is often required to administer a deceased’s estate, it is not always necessary. Joint ownership. Choosing to not write a Will is not a strategy for avoiding probate. View a map of our location and parking. The necessary forms for Probate are available from the Queen’s Printer Bookstore in Edmonton at 780-427-4952. Items of significant value should be appropriately appraised and also distributed in an equitable fashion. However, there are circumstances where probate will almost always be required. To avoid probate mistakes, the executor should devise an adequate method of ensuring that all household and personal items are distributed in an even-handed, fair way. A commonly held misconception about Estate planning is that a valid Will negates the need for a probate application. At West Legal, we take a People First approach. Name beneficiaries on your life insurance policies. probate@west-legal.ca or 403-723-0175 to get started. There are important legal and income tax considerations and possibly property transfer taxes. Joint Bank Accounts: What Happens When One Account Holder Passes Away? Probate is often used as a catch-all phrase to refer to various aspects of the Estate Administration process. If spouse A is deceased, and spouse B is the Estate’s Executor, spouse B can typically avoid probate if all assets are held jointly. Calgary, Clients often have questions about the probate process, and rightfully so. The most extreme way to avoid probate of your estate is to get rid of … It’s sensible for you to reach out to us or another Calgary probate lawyer, even if your loved one passed away out-of-province. Avoid trouble. Probate is most commonly avoidable between spouses. The Wills & Estates lawyers at West Legal offer free-of-charge, no-obligation consultations to Executors and potential Executors. To determine in which judicial district an ancestor died, write to: In Alberta, an estate with $1 million of assets pays a probate fee of … Your estate will be probated whether or not you have a Will, and probate fees will be incurred either … We typically address the topic of “probate” during our estate planning consultations. In some cases, however, planning to avoid probate can be so zealous that the estate has no money available to pay income tax or other estate-related costs. So avoiding Probate is not as much of a concern in Alberta. As such, the Estate Planning Lawyers at West Legal don’t believe in avoiding probate at all costs. Those institutions include banks and the land titles office. Property that is jointly owned with a survivorship right will … The information held is Grants of Probate, Letters of Administration, and Wills. an estates lawyer will guide you towards the best option. When our mortality finally catches up with us, we are subject to two possible taxes: provincial probate and income tax. Where can I purchase these items in person? Read more about when Probate is necessary in Alberta here. Without probate, bank accounts and investments can be frozen, leaving families unable to access much needed funds; and many real estate transactions will be unable to close. It also confirms the validity and legitimacy of the deceased’s Last Will. Probate fees and probate forms in Alberta. wills@west-legal.ca or 403-723-0175 to get started. Avoiding probate introduces a lot of risks, such as the court making claims against the estate. A revocable living trust is a … Typically, a grant of probate is obtained for estates where a valid will exists that appoints a willing and able personal representative. Competing Claimants: Who Has Priority to Estate Funds? What if you don’t have a will or your executor can’t do the job? Occasionally, the cost and effort of a probate application outweigh the value of the Estate, and, as such, the Executor and beneficiaries agree not to proceed with probate. Transferring Vehicle Ownership After Owner Passes Away in Alberta. If you hold certain assets jointly, with right of survivorship, those assets will pass … In such instances, if the deceased’s only asset was a single bank account with a balance of, say, $8,000.00, the deceased’s financial institution may, discretionally, release the $8,000.00 to the Executor upon review of the deceased’s original Will and upon verification of the Executor’s identity. If it’s a very simple estate and all assets are jointly owned, probate can often be avoided. However, in some cases, the Executor’s parent has passed away in a different province. When Can Probate Be Avoided in Alberta? When people refer to probate or probating a will, they are likely referring to obtaining a “grant of probate”. Before you read this article, it may be helpful to review our article “When is Probate Necessary?” to get an idea of when a probate application is required. We often receive calls from individuals who live in Calgary and have been appointed as the Executor of a parent’s Estate. If you’re an Executor who’s hoping to avoid probate, or if you’re simply unsure of what the probate process entails and where you should begin, seeking the advice of a qualified Wills & Estates lawyer is an ideal place to start. In a trust set up for the purpose of avoiding probate, typically you would be all of these people. Get Rid of All of Your Property. You may find yourself unsure of which grant to apply for or whether you need to apply at all and an estates lawyer will guide you towards the best option. Establish Joint Ownership for Real Estate. Lastly, probate can be avoided where it’s impractical. A probate fee is paid by an individual’s estate to validate the will and the named executor, giving the executor the clear authority to act. Contact us today, and we’ll book you in for your free probate consultation! However, a general rule of thumb is that, if you pass away leaving assets in your sole name and without a named beneficiary, your Executor will likely need to obtain a grant of probate in order to distribute your assets, regardless of whether you died leaving a Will. #880, 10201 Southport Rd SW Probate avoidance from an Estate Planning perspective, i.e., when you’re still alive, deserves an article of its own, and there are many precautions that need to be taken into consideration when doing any sort of probate avoidance as part of an Estate plan. The most straightforward way to avoid probate is simply to create a living trust. Five out of the thirteen provinces and territories — Alberta, Quebec, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut — charge flat fees for probate or estate administration taxes of less than $1,000. Most of what happens during probate is essentially clerical. Make sure you have a will – Probate fees will be applied automatically if you die intestate (without a will). The process involves fees. In order to have a Will probated, you must submit an application for a Grant of Probate to the Court. Without a complete picture of the estate in question, it’s impossible to provide a definitive answer as to whether probate will be required. A Grant of Probate is a formal court document, issued by the Surrogate Division of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta, which confirms or validates the Executor’s authority to distribute the deceased’s Estate. Is a Former Spouse Entitled to a Deceased’s Estate in Alberta? Probate’s major disadvantages are its well-known cost and the delay it causes in distributing the estate. If spouse A is deceased, and spouse B is the Estate’s Executor, spouse B can typically avoid probate if all assets are held jointly. Probate is most commonly avoidable between spouses. … Probate is a court process that confirms an executor’s authority in a will to distribute the assets of a person who has deceased. Those circumstances include estates where there is no surviving spouse as a joint tenant, where assets are in the name of the deceased only, where the estate has significant asset value, where there is no will and where the will is of dubious validity. Avoiding probate fees: Good, bad, ugly In BC, probate fee avoidance can be a bit of an obsession. In the vast majority of cases there's no conflict, no contesting parties, none of the usual reasons for court proceedings. Hold your assets in cash and/or bearer certificates. Calgary, T2W 4X9. We understand that there is more to you than the legal inquiry that brought you in. At West Legal, we take a People First approach. There is no hard-and-fast rule that determines when obtaining a grant of probate is necessary. Ahlstrom Wright is here to streamline the process for you. We understand that there is more to you than the legal inquiry that brought you in. Alberta Additionally, if you’re an Executor, it’s important to never misrepresent your relationship to the deceased when dealing with a financial institution, or anyone else. Often, the Executor needs to obtain a Grant of Probate from the courts before distributing the Estate, even if the deceased left a valid Will. The grant allows the personal representative to legally fulfill their duties as the administrator of the estate. Life insurance is paid directly to the named beneficiary, so the funds never become a part of ... 2. In Ontario the fees are $250 for the first $50,000 of your estate and $15 for each additional $1,000 with no upper limit. The probate process requires extensive paperwork which is often confusing. A grant of probate is obtained by the personal representative, or executor, of the estate upon application to the Surrogate Office of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. Alberta Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. For example, if spouse A and spouse B were joint tenant owners of the couple’s only home, held all bank accounts jointly, registered their vehicles in joint names, and if the deceased spouse named the surviving spouse as their beneficiary of all other assets where applicable, such as RRSPs, TFSAs, non-registered investment accounts, and life insurance policies, a Grant of Probate is likely unnecessary; Probate may also be avoidable where the deceased left a valid Will, but no surviving spouse, provided that the deceased named a beneficiary on each individual asset, account, and life insurance policy, and named someone as a joint tenant owner of any real estate or motor vehicle; In limited circumstances, where the Estate is small or there are only one or two assets that would typically require probate, probate may be avoided with some creativity on the part of the Executor. As an estate lawyer, we all too often see the pitfalls of joint accounts or joint title – it can unintentionally trigger taxes, reduce your autonomy to sell or liquidate assets, and can make those assets subject to a child’s creditors or a matrimonial property claim. Estate Administration is the process of gathering and distributing a deceased’s assets, and satisfying all obligations and debts of the Estate. [COVID-19] Alberta Temporary Layoffs: What Employees Need to Know, [July 2020 Extension Update] COVID-19 Alberta Temporary Layoff Legislation. If you pass away without a Will, a grant of administration is nearly always required, and the application for such a grant is typically more complex than a probate application. When is Probate Required? The answer to the question “do you have to probate a will in Alberta” really depends on the amount and/or complexity of the estate. Each province sets its own fees, and they vary considerably. You cannot avoid the probate process by not having a Will. Plan ahead and make a will. 7 Tips to avoid probate . With probate, wills are ensured to be legally binding. While it’s extremely important to have a valid, up-to-date Will in place, and while leaving a Will certainly simplifies the probate process, more often than not, a probate application is necessary, regardless of whether or not the deceased left a valid Will. Probate rarely calls for legal research, drafting, or a lawyer's adversarial skills. Alberta Queen's Printer only has one location, in Edmonton, at Suite 700 of the Park Plaza Building, 10611 - 98 Avenue. Estate lawyers work with probate documents regularly and are able to ensure the application proceeds smoothly. There is no central registry for wills in Alberta; wills are kept at the Court House in the judicial district where probate was granted. Probate is the process by which a court confirms that a will is valid. How do I avoid Probate Fees if the value of the estate Exceeds $25,000? Creating a Revocable Living Trust 1 Establish a Revocable Living Trust. The estate lawyers at West Legal will provide you with an honest assessment of whether or not it’s best to take steps to avoid probate and the associated risks and expenses of doing the same. [For Employees] Employment Agreement & Termination Clause, Wrongful Dismissal Litigation in Alberta: Info for Employers. If the value of the estate exceeds $25,000, Probate Fees must be paid in order to obtain “a Grant of Probate” or “Grant of Administration.” However, it is possible to minimize or eliminate Probate Fees if you plan ahead. Typically, many of the assets in an estate don’t need to go through probate. What we do believe in, is careful and creative planning so that your estate can avoid probate in circumstances where the downsides to avoiding probate are limited. Address An original copy is required for an application. Giving away property while you're alive helps you avoid probate for a very simple reason: If … Gifting prior to death – this can reduce the value of the estate subject to probate but must be done with care. Steps. 1. The estate lawyers at West Legal will provide you with an honest assessment of whether or not you can avoid probate and the associated legal costs. If the deceased neglected to leave a valid Will, an application for a Grant of Administration, which is similar to a Grant of Probate, is nearly always required. Alberta Queen's Printer Bookstore is located on the 7th floor of the Park Plaza Building, 10611 - 98 Avenue in Edmonton. Others overlook probate entirely, when simple steps could be taken to negate it. Read more about when Probate is necessary in Alberta here. For example, the benefits of adding an adult child to the title of your home in hopes of avoiding probate may be outweighed by the risk of claims against your property from a divorce or lawsuit against your adult child. The result is that for an estate valued at $500,000, the Probate Fee payable to the Ontario Government would be $7,000. This article, however, addresses whether an Executor can avoid probating a deceased’s Estate from an Estate Administration perspective. Address [For Employees] Employment Agreement & Termination Clause, Wrongful Dismissal Litigation in Alberta: Info for Employers. back to top . What we do believe in, is careful and creative planning so that your estate can avoid probate in circumstances where the downsides to avoiding probate are limited. Since probate fees are calculated on the value of the assets that are distributed through a will, the basic strategy to avoid or at least minimize the fees is … Gifts. Multiple wills. Transferring Vehicle Ownership After Owner Passes Away in Alberta. People try to avoid probate but the question is why. Joint Bank Accounts: What Happens When One Account Holder Passes Away? The use of multiple wills to avoid probate fees has been accepted in some provinces, including Ontario, for many years. T2W 4X9. During our consultation, we’ll help you determine whether probate is necessary for your circumstances, and we’ll guide you towards your next steps. If the deceased person was married and owned most everything jointly, or did some planning to avoid probate, a probate court proceeding may not be necessary. The probate process involves various expenses; for example, court fees and lawyer’s fees. Since June of 1992 when Ontario tripled its probate fees, people have been looking for ways to avoid paying them. Here are kinds of assets that don’t need to go through probate: Then the courts have to appoint an … In some states it can be costly and expensive for even small estates to go through probate. By comparison, Ontario has the highest probate fee rate in Canada at approximately 1.5 per cent, whereas the maximum payable under Alberta law is C$400. There are, however, some exceptions to the general requirement that an Executor must obtain a Grant of Probate, which are addressed below. Unless the will is contested and/or there are disputes among family members, the most difficult aspect of administrating an estate is completing the application process for probate. We see this type of probate avoidance succeed occasionally in circumstances where, for example, a deceased individual left a valid Will appointing their adult child as the sole Executor and beneficiary of their Estate. Write a Living Trust. The probate attorney, or the attorney's secretary, fills in a small mountain of forms and keeps track of filing deadlines and other procedural technicalities. Simple estates, estates with minimal assets and estates where all assets are held with a surviving spouse in joint names may not require probate. A grant of probate is a document signed by a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, that confirms the validity of a deceased’s last Will and affirms the Executor’s authority to distribute the deceased’s assets pursuant to that Will. While you don’t have to retain a lawyer’s services when applying for a grant of probate or a grant of administration, it is highly recommended. A common example is when the surviving spouse simply becomes the sole owner of the assets since everything is already in both names. Competing Claimants: Who Has Priority to Estate Funds? Where no will exists, or there is a will but the appointed personal representative is deceased, unable or unwilling to act, a person wishing to administer the estate may apply for a grant of administration. For example, a deceased. And like any obsession, sometimes the things people do cause a lot more problems than they solve. Temporary Layoffs: What Alberta Employees Need to Know, Updates to the Alberta Employment Standards Code, Holograph Wills: Creating a Will During Uncertain Times, Emergency Financial Assistance from AB Government, Duty to Accommodate: Best Practices for Employers, Best 5 Employer Options During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Alberta Court Closures: How You Might Be Affected. #880, 10201 Southport Rd SW For example, the benefits of adding an adult child to the title of your home in hopes of avoiding probate may be outweighed by the risk of claims against your property from a divorce or lawsuit against your adult child. Without a grant of probate, the institutions that hold or register your assets are unlikely to deal with your executor. If you’re an Executor, it’s important to remember that this is a “shot-in-the-dark” form of probate avoidance, is at the discretion of the deceased’s financial institution, and isn’t always successful, or even ideal. You may call them from anywhere in Alberta by dialing 310-0000 first and then 780-427-4952. In some states, the attorney makes a few routine court appearances; in others, the whole procedure is h… Many Canadians go to great lengths to avoid the first. Ahlstrom Wright has offices in Sherwood Park, Alberta … Is a Former Spouse Entitled to a Deceased’s Estate in Alberta? If the original is lost, the court may be able to accept a copy if certain conditions are met. Assets That Don’t Need to Go Through Probate. Probate in Alberta: Common Myths & Misconceptions, Temporary Layoffs: What Alberta Employees Need to Know, Updates to the Alberta Employment Standards Code, Holograph Wills: Creating a Will During Uncertain Times, Emergency Financial Assistance from AB Government, Duty to Accommodate: Best Practices for Employers, Best 5 Employer Options During the Coronavirus Pandemic, Alberta Court Closures: How You Might Be Affected, [COVID-19] Alberta Temporary Layoffs: What Employees Need to Know, [July 2020 Extension Update] COVID-19 Alberta Temporary Layoff Legislation. Therefore, unless you own assets located outside of Alberta, there is no reason to structure your estate plan to avoid Probate Fees. There is a fee to obtain probate. < a href= ” mailto: probate @ west-legal.ca ” > probate @ west-legal.ca ” > probate west-legal.ca. At all costs it is not always necessary including Ontario, for many years you than legal... 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