What is probate?
Probate is the process by which the court proves a deceased person’s will as their valid last will and testament. It requires an application, made to the court office in the region where a deceased person lived, accompanied by the original will of the deceased.
Who applies for probate?
Generally, the person (or people) named in the will as executors apply for probate using a lawyer of their choosing. Another person may apply to probate the will ONLY if all of the executors named in the will have passed away, or are unwilling or unable to act as the executor. If someone other than the executor applies, the court will carefully consider their application and may require a bond to be posted before that person is allowed to act. A person named as an executor in a will does not have to post a bond as long as they live in Canada.
What does probate allow an executor to do?
The probate process results in the executor receiving a Certificate of Appointment from the court. This Certificate is a statement by the court that the executor is the person named in the will and is permitted to act as the executor. The Certificate allows an executor to access the deceased’s bank accounts, manage and sell real estate, file income tax for the deceased, and deal with all of the deceased’s assets.
When is probate required?
An executor will have to determine if probate is necessary after a deceased person has passed. Probate will be required where:
- A deceased person owned real estate by themselves or as tenants in common
- The deceased has bank accounts that are not joint with another person
- A deceased’s banking institution, creditors, or investment company requires it
The legal representation you choose can help the process of probate proceed smoothly. At Axess Law, our lawyers are highly experienced and qualified to assist you in applying for probate.