The passing of a loved one is a difficult time, our legal services can alleviate some of the stress by guiding you through the steps.

What is an “estate”?

When your life ends, all that you own and owe at that time becomes your estate. For the purpose of probate your estate will include all property owned in Alberta

What is probate and why would I have to do that?

Probate is the informal acknowledgement by the Court of Queen’s Bench, Surrogate Division, that the person named in a will as a Personal Representative (formerly known as an Executor) is the authority to act on behalf of the estate and administer the instructions from the will. Where there is no will, the law establishes a list of priority persons who can apply to become the Personal Representative. You will want to discuss the necessity of probate with the financial institutions holding the deceased investments, benefits, or accounts, as to whether you are required to obtain a grant.

What does obtaining a grant of probate cost?

In Alberta, probate fees charged by the Court are as follows:
Where the total value of the property (assets – liabilities) is:

$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 court fees can be found at:

If you hire a wills and estate lawyer to assist they are also entitled to charge for their services. There is a guideline posted at Schedule 1 of the Surrogate Rules that sets out acceptable fees.

What do I need to provide to get the grant?

You will need to make an application to the court to obtain the grant. The type of grant you can obtain will depend on the circumstances of the estate; was there a will, did the deceased live and die somewhere else, but had property in Alberta? You will need significant information about the life of the deceased person, their date and place of birth, the date and place of death, names of spouses and former spouses, names, addresses and ages of children, names and addresses for beneficiaries, what gifts are being given, etc. Each situation requires the completion of a series of forms created from the surrogate rules. If you want to complete the application on your own, you can obtain the necessary forms from the Alberta Queen’s Printer and search “probate”.

What help should I get?

What help you receive from a legal professional depends on your comfort level in completing the necessary paper work and understanding what the surrogate rules require in certain circumstances.

Something to keep in mind is the expectations of the beneficiaries; they will expect the estate to be dealt with expeditiously and professionally.

We are happy to provide a variety of services to assist a would-be personal representative; we can address all matters for probate from information gathering to obtaining the grant and assisting with administration. We can also coach parties and provide commissioning services.

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