PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
Calgary Probate Lawyers

After the passing of a loved one, administering their estate should be the least of your worries. If you are the Executor of an estate, our probate lawyer can save you time and simplify the probate and state administration process. If you are a beneficiary of an estate, our wills and probate lawyer will answer your questions about the estate distribution and consider your legal options.

Suppose your loved one arranged for a Will before their passing. In that case, their Executor may need to probate the Will before they can manage and distribute the deceased’s assets among the estate’s beneficiaries. The process has the probate court verify that the Will is authentic and enforceable.

If your loved family member or friend dies without a Will, this means that they passed intestate. Likely, you will need to become a Personal Representative of the estate and to receive a grant of administration to gain the ability to manage their estate and carry out their wishes. Only then will the Personal Representative have the authority to manage the deceased’s assets and distribute the estate among its beneficiaries.

We understand that this is a very hard and frustrating time in your life and we will do our best to help ease any unnecessary stress.

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probate administration
What Calgary Probate Lawyers Do
PROBATE AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION IN CALGARY

Probate and administration of the estate is a challenging task, and it is vital to have a trusted estate lawyer to navigate you through all the formalities. If you do not get a Probate for the Will or Letters of Administration for an intestate estate, even as the assigned beneficiary or the closest family member, you may not be granted access to the assets of the deceased.

Calgary probate lawyers will help you probate a Will, receive legal authority to administer an estate and understand the intricacies of estate management.

Calgary probate lawyers generally calculate their fees based on the value of the estate. Usually, the more value is in the estate, the more complex it is, and the more work a lawyer needs to complete as part of the probate process. There are fee guidelines suggested for probate lawyers in Alberta. At DLegal, we are committed to the accessibility of legal services. Most of the time, our probate legal fees are significantly lower than the probate fees suggested by the guidelines.

WHAT DOES PROBATE COST?

In Alberta, government probate fees are charged based on the value of the estate. Probate costs will be paid out before the beneficiaries get their shares in the estate. As prescribed in Surrogate Rules, the costs of getting a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from the court range from $35.00 for estates valued at $10,000.00 or under, to $525.00 for estates valued over $250,000.00.

In addition to the Alberta government probate charge above, most estates usually have other probate costs, such as fees to Executors, lawyers, and accountants.Because probate work is complicated and time-consuming, executors are entitled to compensation for their efforts. Executor’s compensation can be prescribed in the Will, agreed upon by the beneficiaries, or directed by the court.

DLEGAL WILLS AND PROBATE LAWYERS

At DLegal, we understand that the death of a friend or family member is a challenging and frustrating time in your life. Whether an estate is complex or straightforward, one needs to devote a considerable amount of time and make multiple steps to access and divide it appropriately. Let us ease any unnecessary stress and make the process run more smoothly. Our wills and probate lawyers are here to help probate a Will, assist with Letters of Administration, explain how best to approach an estate administration, and advise on the rights and obligations of Executors, Personal Representatives, and beneficiaries concerning the estate.

At DLegal, we keep clients at the center of our work and provide practical and honest guidance through the Probate and estate administration in Calgary. When our clients refer their friends to us again and again, we can’t help but smile because we’ve done our job right. We are committed to making our legal fees transparent and accessible. Consequently, our probate lawyers offer flat rates which are based on the value of the estate. When you know your legal costs from the beginning, you can look forward peacefully and plan your expenditures.

How Probate and Letters of Administration Work
DO YOU NEED PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
When you are ready, please reach out to us to discuss your estate administration strategy. We will review the Will and personal situation of the deceased to determine who is the Personal Representative (or the Executor), who are the beneficiaries (or the recipients of the estate), and how the assets are to be distributed. We will discuss your situation with the goal of deciding if Probate or Letters of Administration are required. We will also advise you generally on your role as Executor or Personal Representative. If you cannot visit us in person, we are happy to assist you online or over the phone.
COURT APPLICATION FOR GRANT OF PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
Once we have a good grasp of your situation, we will take approximately 10-14 business days to prepare the court application for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Administration per your instructions. We can ensure your application is completed appropriately and succeeds without delays. In Alberta, the cost of filing a Probate or Letter of Administration depends on the net value of your estate but will not exceed $525. Filling out the application will take us 1 to 2 weeks to complete.
GRANT OF PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
Upon filing, the judge will review the application and decide if the Letters of Probate or Administration can be granted so that the Executor or Personal Representative shall receive the legal authority to administer the estate. The timeframe for this step can vary, but in Calgary, it currently takes approximately 4 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS PROBATE?
Probate is a process of a Will being approved as valid by the court. When judges probate a Will, they also prove the authority of the Executor named by the deceased in the Will.
WHAT ARE LETTER OF ADMINISTRATION?
When a person passes away without a Will, someone needs to apply to the court for Letters of Administration if they wish to administer and distribute the deceased’s estate.
GRANT OF PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION
Upon filing, the judge will review the application and decide if the Letters of Probate or Administration can be granted so that the Executor or Personal Representative shall receive the legal authority to administer the estate. The timeframe for this step can vary, but in Calgary, it currently takes approximately 4 months.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROBATE AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
One would apply for Letters of Probate if a deceased left a Will. If the deceased died without a Will (or intestate), one applies for Letters of Administration. These two applications require similar paperwork and have a similar purpose of getting legal access to the deceased’s estate.
WHAT IS GRANT OF PROBATE?
A Grant of Probate is a document signed by a Justice of the Surrogate Division of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. It confirms that the Will of the deceased is valid and that the Executor can administer and distribute the estate under the Will.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PROBATE A WILL?
Usually, “to probate a Will” means “to get a Grant of Probate,” which means to prove a Will and legal power of the named Executor.
WHAT IS A GRANT OF LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
A Grant of Administration is a document signed by a Justice of the Surrogate Court of Alberta. It confirms that the Personal Representative can administer and distribute the deceased’s estate following the statutory rules of succession.
IS PROBATE REQUIRED IN ALBERTA?
You do not need a Probate for simple estates or when assets of a deceased pass outside of the estate. Still, one needs to probate a Will if the estate is complex or contains registered assets or expensive property.
WHEN IS PROBATE REQUIRED?
A Probate is not always required. Some estates can be handled informally if the deceased did not leave registered or substantial assets and the deceased personal situation is not complicated. However, one may need to probate a Will if the estate contains shares in public companies or real estate or bank accounts held solely by the deceased or if the Will is controversial. DLegal probate lawyers are here to help you understand whether you need a Grant of Probate and whether you need a lawyer to complete the application.
WHEN ARE LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION REQUIRED?
Letters of Administration are not required for simple estates. However, suppose the deceased has left registered assets, shares in public companies, real estate or bank accounts in sole ownership, or the property of significant value. Alternatively, suppose the personal situation of the deceased is controversial. In that case, one may need to receive Letters of Administration to administer the estate lawfully. At DLegal, we will discuss all aspects of your situation and will help you to determine if you need Letters of Administration. Our wills and estates lawyer will also assist you with the application process if required.
HOW TO AVOID PROBATE?
A thorough estate planning can help avoid Probate or limit Probate paperwork. However, there is a common misconception about the Probate process and costs. The costs of Probate in Alberta are actually not high compared to other provinces, and the process is not that time-consuming. Also, there are cases when avoiding a Probate is not worth the efforts or the downsides outweigh the benefits. For example, the risks of adding an adult child to the title of your home or your bank account include the risk of claims against your property from your child’s creditors or spouse, tax issues, family disputes, or loss of control over the property.
WHY DO I NEED TO PROBATE A WILL?
Even if your significant one left a Will and named you as the Executor, you may need to go through a Probate, which means to get the Will and your authority proved by the court. Suppose the deceased made another Will before or after she made the Will you want to probate. Suppose the deceased named other people executors or beneficiaries there, and those people will also seek access to the estate of the deceased. To avoid situations when someone gets access to the estate without lawful authority, one needs the court to confirm that the Will in question is valid and that he or she can lawfully administer the estate.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO APPLY FOR A GRANT OF PROBATE IN CALGARY?
No, you can apply for Probate without a lawyer. When applying for Probate on your own, you will save on legal fees and supervise the application process yourself. Still, probate paperwork can be time-consuming if you do not have prior experience with it. Also, judges approach probate applications with a fine-tooth comb and may return your application for corrections multiple times. More importantly, Executors and Personal Representatives have personal liability for the proper administration of the estate. When you trust your Probate to a reputable estate lawyer, you will save time and receive competent advice and guidance.
CAN I APPLY FOR A GRANT OF ADMINISTRATION WITHOUT A LAWYER?
Yes, you can definitely get Letters of Administration without a lawyer. This will save you some money on legal fees and will ensure that you control the application process. However, a good estate lawyer has professional knowledge and experience and will guide you through the application process efficiently. Trusting your Letters of Administration to a good probate lawyer, you will avoid common mistakes and delays and reduce risks and stress associated with the application process.
HOW TO GET PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
To start the Probate process in Calgary, the Executor needs to apply for a Grant of Probate to the Surrogate Division of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. The judge will review the application to determine if the Will is the last and true testament of the deceased and confirm the Executor’s authority. Suppose the judge is satisfied that the Will is authentic and enforceable and the Executor can administer the estate. In that case, the court will grant Letters of Probate and give the Executor the legal power to gather the testator’s assets and distribute them among the recipients (i.e., beneficiaries) named in the Will.
HOW TO OBTAIN LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION?
To start the estate administration process in Calgary, a Personal Representative needs to apply for Letters of Administration to the Surrogate Court of Alberta (a division of the Court of Queen’s Bench). The judge will review the application to confirm that the deceased passed intestate and that the Personal Representative can manage and distribute the estate.
HOW MUCH DOES PROBATE OR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION COST?
The costs of Probate or Letters of Administration usually include Alberta Government probate charges which depend on the net value of the estate and do not exceed $525.00. Besides the Alberta government probate fees, most estates usually have other probate costs, such as Executor’s compensation, legal and accountants fees. Most Calgary probate lawyers calculate their legal fees based on suggested fee guidelines. At DLegal, our probate lawyer fees are often significantly below the probate legal fees recommended by the guideline.
How Much Does Probate Cost
Probate and Estate Administration
Probate/Letter of Administration $1295 + 1% of net value of estate

Flat rate does not apply to complex situations, does not include GST, probate filing fee, and extra services.

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Anna Dunaeva

Anna perpetually works to surpass her clients' expectations. Through continuous communication, Anna delivers on her commitment to keep clients at the centre of her practice.

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