Probate Fees in Alberta

Understanding Fees for Letters of Probate or Administration

Anna Dunaeva DLegal Anna Dunaeva September 12, 2022
DLegal Law Office - money

Probate Fees in Alberta

When it comes to paying probate fees in Alberta, people tend to have questions. There is a common misconception that Alberta probate fees are exorbitantly expensive. However, in reality, the court will not charge more than $525 for estates with a net value of $250,000 or more. There is a tiered system of probate fees in Alberta, which is based on the deceased net value of the property.

If you choose to work with an Alberta probate lawyer, you will also need to account for the cost of legal services. A probate lawyer will guide you through the probate process and ensure your application is compliant with the official Surrogate Rules in Alberta. However, the cost to partner with an Alberta probate lawyer can vary from firm to firm.

The Application Process and Alberta Probate Fees

A Grant of Probate is a legal document that validates a Will and an executor’s authority to distribute the assets of the deceased’s estate. Unlike other Canadian provinces, Alberta does not have a separate Surrogate Court.

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta oversees wills and estates under the Surrogate Division. If there is no will at the time of someone passing, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta will issue a Grant of Administration, which will approve someone’s authority to administer the estate of the deceased.

Alberta probate fees are the same for a Grant of Probate or Grant of Administration and are paid out of the estate. Therefore, family members will not need to pay out-of-pocket expenses for these fees.

In most cases, the probate process will be handled by applying to and corresponding with the Surrogate Court Clerk’s office. However, if issues related to the probate application can not be resolved by submitting legal documents, then those involved may need to make a court appearance at the request of the Surrogate Division.

Probate Fees Alberta

Alberta has some of the lowest probate fees across the country. The following probate costs will be paid out from the estate before the beneficiaries get their shares.

Net Value of Property Court Fees
$10,000 or less $35
Over $10,000 but not more than $25,000 $135
Over $25,000 but not more than $125,000 $275
Over $125,000 but not more than $250,000     $400
Over $250,000 $525

 

Other Alberta Probate Fees

Not all probate processes are straightforward. The following are supplemental fees that may be required throughout your estate planning and probate application.    

Type of Document Fees
Documents that require the opening of a court file respecting an estate $250
Application for trusteeship $250
Issuing a grant of double probate, supplemental grant, or grant of administration of unadministered property     $275
Over $125,000 but not more than $250,000 $250
Caveat $250
Application (in the course of an action or proceeding respecting an estate or trusteeship) $50

 

Probate Legal Fees

As an executor, there is no legal requirement to work with an Alberta probate lawyer. However, most find that it is prudent to do so. Probate and administration of the estate is a challenging task. A probate lawyer will help you probate a Will, receive legal authority to administer an estate, and understand the intricacies of estate management.

Many people look for strategies on how to avoid probate. However, in most cases, you will not have access to inheritance or any of the deceased estate before undergoing probate. This means you won’t be able to access bank accounts at the Testator’s financial institutions, sell or transfer land, and more.

Lawyers generally calculate their probate fees based on the net value of the estate. Usually, the more equity 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 by the Law Society of Alberta. These start at $2,250,00 plus 0.5% of the value of the estate and disbursements for any expenses incurred by the law firm and go up to $2,250.00 plus 1.0% of the value of the estate plus disbursements for any costs incurred by the law firm for estates over $150,000 in value. However, this is merely a guideline, and often probate lawyers will charge much more.

At our DLegal our probate legal fees are significantly lower than the probate fees suggested by the guidelines. We are committed to the accessibility of legal services for everyone.

Other Probate Fees in Alberta

Outside of legal services and the court application fee, estates usually have other probate-related fees to pay executors or accountants. Probate work is complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, 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. This is typically a percentage of the net value of the property and can also include reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses like travel costs.

Our Probate Lawyer Fees

DLegal offers competitive probate lawyer fees in Alberta, which are significantly lower than the probate fees suggested by the guidelines set forth by the Law Society of Alberta.

We offer a standard probate fee of $1295 + 1% of the net value of the estate.* This also applies to cases of grant of administration.

At DLegal, we are committed to making our legal fees transparent and accessible. When you know your legal costs from the beginning, you can look forward peacefully and plan your expenditures. Get in touch with our lawyers to get started today.

*The flat rate does not include GST, rush service, complex situations, disbursements, and extra services.
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