The word probate often confuses many families. Most families recognize it as being associated with the Court, and the Court’s confusing processes; and they know it is something that they may need to deal with when a loved one passes. Simply put, probate is the name given to the legal process of verifying:
- The validity of a deceased person’s Will;
- The appointment of the executor(s); and
- The state of the deceased person’s finances and confirming the beneficiaries of the estate.
Not only is the probate process challenging for people who are unfamiliar with it, it is especially difficult for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Our Vancouver Probate lawyers focus on assisting executors with their simple or complex applications for Grants of Probate, where the deceased had a will, as well as applications for Grants of Letters of Administration, where the deceased died without a valid Will. Our lawyers have decades of experience within this field of complicated, and detailed-oriented work. We know the process, we know the law, and we know how to best help you meet your legal responsibilities. Even more important than our legal skills, we have the compassion and sensitivity to guide you through the process in a caring and thoughtful manner.
Our Vancouver Probate lawyers can help you through this difficult time by advising and guiding you on:
- The probate process – what needs to be done to probate a will, or administer an estate, and how to do it
- Advising on the validity of a will
- Drafting and filing probate or administration documents with the Court
- Drafting and sending standard letters to banks, government agencies and other relevant organizations
- Helping to locate the deceased’s assets
- Working with accountants to file the final T1 and T3 tax returns
- Drafting and filing the notice to creditors
- Drafting and sending all the correspondence and releases to the beneficiaries or heirs prior to the distribution of the estate
- Obtaining approval of the executor’s remuneration and estate accounts
- Obtaining a Clearance Certificate from Revenue Canada
Here are examples of work we recently handled for clients through our Vancouver Probate practice:
- Assisted in the administration of an estate where the first named executor was mentally incapacitated and not capable of managing the estate or even renouncing his right to manage the estate
- Worked with an executor to negotiate with other beneficiaries to allow for the payment of charitable gifts not mentioned in the will, but mentioned verbally on the deceased’s deathbed
- Applied for Letters of Administration on an expedited basis due to the pending sale of the deceased’s home
- Helped the wife and daughter of a deceased business owner keep their family business (a restaurant), even though the deceased did not have a Will that gave instructions on what was supposed to happen to the business