What is the probate process in British Columbia?


Quick Answer

Executors named in wills need to apply for a grant of probate with a Supreme Court registry office except in certain specific circumstances, explains the B.C. Ministry of Justice. Applying for probate is complicated, involving multiple forms, such as submission for estate grant and affidavit of assets and liabilities.

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Full Answer

Creditors and asset holders, such as banks, generally require a grant of probate to formally recognize an estate's official representative, states Clicklaw. Some assets may be passed on without probate, such as property held jointly with the deceased. The multiple forms used to apply for probate assure the government that the will is current and that relevant persons are notified, and they explains the deceased person's assets and liabilities. Applicants must also pay a probate fee.

Due to the complicated application process, both the Ministry of Justice and The Canadian Bar Association suggest hiring a lawyer to complete the process and take care of other estate responsibilities. However, various legal services offer guides and probate kits, including the British Columbia Probate Kit from Self Counsel Press, reports Clicklaw. Accountants may also be helpful when filing the multiple tax forms required upon the death of a person.

If the deceased person did not leave a will, if the will did not name an executor, or if the executor died, individuals may apply for a grant of administration instead of probate, giving them control over a deceased person's estate, explains the Ministry of Justice. Laws give precedence to spouses over children in these circumstances, states Lawyers-BC.com.

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