Probate is the legal process that transfers the ownership of property from the estate of the deceased to their beneficiaries.  During the probate process, the executor of your will goes before the courts and identifies all the property you owned, appraises the property, pays all debts and taxes, proves that the will is valid and legal, and distributes the property according to the instructions of the will. 

Legal & Probate Information FAQ

Do all Wills have to be taken to a lawyer?
No, some families may choose to look after the estate themselves including providing the will and dispersing the funds without the assistance of a lawyer.

Do I Need Probate?
If you are administering an estate in Alberta, one of the decisions you will be faced with is whether to probate the Will. You will soon be asked by financial institutions and other organizations whether you will be obtaining probate.

What is Probate?
Probate is the process by which the Executor of an estate applies to the Surrogate Court of Alberta to get the Will “verified” or “approved.” A Judge of the Surrogate Court of Alberta will review the Will and the estate inventory and if satisfied, will issue Letters of Probate. This will be a document issued by the Surrogate Court, which can be relied upon by everybody dealing with the estate.

How Much Does Probate Cost?
The Alberta Courts charge a fee to process a probate application. In Alberta, the maximum fee the Surrogate Court charges for a probate application is about $600.00. On top of that, if the Executor hires a lawyer to do the application to Court for probate, then there will be legal fees as well.

How Long Does It Take to Get Probate?
To make an application to the Surrogate Court of Alberta for probate, you will need to do a very comprehensive and complete inventory of the estate, complete with values of the assets. Once this information is gathered, and the application is complete and submitted to Surrogate Court, it will usually be processed in about three weeks.