What does it mean to “Probate” a Will?
The word Probate means to prove or validate. Probate is the procedure by which an application is made to the Court to have the Will of the deceased testator (the person who made the will) validated. The Court will also look at the Will of the deceased and confirm the appointment of the person(s) named as executor in the Will. The Court gives the executor documents, called the letters probate (Grant of Probate), as proof of his or her authority to deal with the estate.
When do you need to Probate an Estate?
The Letters Probate provides official recognition of the authority of the executor over the testator’s estate. The executor may need this proof, for example, to recover money owing to the testator or to transfer certain assets in accordance with the instructions in the Will. As well, Letters Probate may be necessary if the executor expects that somebody may contest his or her right to act as executor.
If the estate contains real estate or property more than $25,000 in value, the executor will need to apply for Probate. If the deceased owned real estate, probate must be obtained as the Land Title Office will need to have certified Probate documents for matters dealing with the transfer and/or sale of the property.
What fees must be paid to obtain a grant of Probate?
The fees payable to Probate Court for the Letters Probate are based on the value of the estate. You can use our BC Probate Fees Calculator to determine what the probate fees for a specific estate would be.
In British Columbia, the basic fee payable for commencing the application for the grant of Probate is $200.00. However, this fee is waived if the entire value of the estate (all of the property of the deceased) does not exceed $25,000.
In addition to the basic Probate application fee, the following are the Probate fees paid to the government:
$6 for each $1,000 or part of $1,000 of the value of the estate in excess of $25,000, up to $50,000, plus $14 for each $1,000 or part of $1,000 of the value of the estate in excess of $50,000.
The fees above do not include legal fees. They are merely the fees paid to the government of British Columbia.
What happens if a person dies without leaving a Will?
When someone dies without a valid Will, they are said to have died “intestate.” In such cases, the Probate Court must appoint someone to act as administrator of the estate (rather than the executor). The Court makes this appointment when someone qualified to act in this capacity makes an application to the Court. Usually this would be a member of the family, or if there is none, a close friend of the deceased.
The appointment as administrator over the estate is known as a grant of “Letters of Administration.” More information is available on the Estate Administration page.
How much does M.J. O’Nions Lawyer & Mediator charge for Probating an Estate?
The cost of Probating an Estate is based on an hourly rate. By filling out the Probate intake form you can save us time which translates into substantial savings for you. Our hourly rate is $295 per hour plus applicable taxes. We do not charge for such things as photocopying, faxing, secretarial services, and long distance telephone calls, which can save you hundreds of dollars more.
Why use M.J. O’Nions Lawyer & Mediator for preparing an Estate for Probate?
We have the knowledge, expertise and experience to prepare an estate for Probate and make an application to obtain and receive a Grant of Probate for an estate. We can complete all the steps to ensure your estate is fully handled and you are aware of all the legalities. We will do this in a cost-effective manner while providing high quality professional service. We understand your needs and we are here to help.
How do I Start the process of having an estate Probated?
To learn more see our blog on The New Wills Estates & Succession Act “WESA,” and what it means for British Columbians.