Q: Do you have to probate a small estate in Alberta?
A: Probate isn’t always required for small and straightforward estates.
Whether or not an executor will be permitted to forgo probate usually depends on the requirements of the institutions where the deceased held their property.
For example, if the deceased’s estate consists of a minimal amount of money held in a bank account, you can contact the bank to find out whether they will require a grant of probate in order to release the funds to the executor.
Different financial institutions have different thresholds for how much money they will release without a grant of probate.
When is Probate Required?
Generally, a grant of probate is required when:
- The deceased owned real estate in their name alone;
- There are concerns about the validity of the will;
- The estate is contested or likely to be contested; or
- There is a substantial amount of money in the deceased’s accounts.
Keep in mind that it is only possible to avoid probate if a valid will exists. If the deceased didn’t leave a will, nobody has authority to access the estate assets without first obtaining a grant from the court!
An estate lawyer can help you determine whether or not a grant of probate will be required. At Pure Legal, we always assess whether or not probate is actually required before commencing a probate application.
Speak to an Alberta Estate Lawyer
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