BOUTIQUE KELOWNA FAMILY LAW FIRM
Losing a loved one is hard enough, dealing with their last wishes and estate administration shouldn't be. At Maio Law we understand that this can be a difficult time and we are thankful to be able to assist individuals in the administration of their loved ones estate.
What you need to know about Probate
When an individual dies, their property is either distributed intestate, testate, or in some cases, both. In British Columbia, the Will, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) is the main Act which governs Estate Law. The process of administering a deceased’s estate can be complicated. Maio Law helps Executors complete the necessary steps to obtain a Grant of Probate.
Now, what exactly is “Estate Law” or “Estate Administration”? Well, when a person dies leaving assets and liabilities, someone has to take control of their estate and pay off the individual’s liabilities and distribute the remaining assets. This aspect is standard, what differs is whether the individual died leaving a Last Will and Testament or whether they died intestate – distribution of an Estate when there is no Will.
Whether the individual had a Law Will and Testament, and sometimes its location can be the first difficult task. A useful search can be done by visiting the BC Wills Registry page. Another useful place to search is Notice Connect. Oftentimes the individual left their original Last Will and Testament at the office of their Solicitor or Notary for safe keeping. Other times a financial institution may have it within a safety deposit box. A good first step can be a search of the individual’s home office or personal documents.
Once the Will is located, you are going to want to keep it safe and secure and it is prudent to make a copy in case something happens to the original. It is likely a good idea to have a lawyer or notary make a “notarized” copy. If a “Probate” application is required, the original Will must be filed with the Registry.
Where the individual died without having a Will, then WESA is going to be highly applicable in the administration of the deceased’s estate. WESA has specific provisions which apply where a person died without a Will.
In some cases the deceased’s Will must be “Probated”, which is done by the Executor or Executors appointed in the Will. The “Probate” process essentially is the validation of the deceased’s Last Will and Testament which provides notice to third parties that the deceased’s Will is real and valid. The Executor is responsible for filing the necessary court forms with the Supreme Court Registry to obtain a Grant of Probate. Where the deceased died as the sole owner of real estate, or held significant financial assets at a Financial Institution – Bank, then a Grant of Probate will likely be required for the Executor to deal with the assets. At Maio Law we assist Executors in navigating the probate process by completing required court forms and helping with the administration of assets and liabilities. Court forms required for probate including but are not limited to:
- Wills Notice Search
- Notice of Proposed Application
- Submission for Estate Grant
- Applicant Affidavit
Executors are appointed within the deceased’s Will. A Will can provide for multiple Executors or one Executor with alternatives should the initial Executor not be in a position to act. The Executors job is to administer the estate which involves confirming assets and liabilities – inventory and valuation, paying liabilities, filing tax returns, notifying beneficiaries, and eventually distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. Within two years of the Grant of Probate an Executor must complete his or her duty to pass the accounts of the Estate.
Our fees are easy to understand and straight forward. In most cases we offer flat filling billing so that you know the price you pay.
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Why Choose Maio Law
Domenic Maio took on a heavy task helping me. I will be forever grateful. His confidence, kindness, understanding and drive to resolve the issue quickly was Amazing. I have great trust and respect for Domenic
Domenic is a fantastic real estate lawyer. This is our 4th time using his services. He helped us tremendously in Toronto and now in Kelowna. Highly recommend him, super reliable!
Domenic Maio went above and beyond for us in our mortgage refinance. He found mistakes that had been made previously and went to great effort to get them fixed. I will always go back to him for any real estate transaction because I know I can trust him.