Langley and Surrey Probate and Estate Administration Lawyers
At Taylor & Taylor Law we assist clients in Langley, Surrey and the BC Lower Mainland during the challenging time of administering the estate of a deceased family member or friend. We routinely obtain probate for varying estates in a timely fashion, as well as advise executors on their legal rights and obligations.
What is Estate Administration?
Estate Administration typically involves resolving the assets and liabilities of a deceased's estate. An individual can be appointed as personal representative (or executor) in the will to resolve the estate, or in certain cases the court can appoint an estate administrator where no executor was named or is available or willing to act.
What is a Grant of Probate?
The executor may need to obtain what is called a grant of probate. Obtaining a grant of probate is the process of having the Supreme Court of British Columbia legally establish the validity of a will. Obtaining probate is usually required by financial and other institutions before they will allow an executor to manage the affairs of the deceased. This includes things such as dealing with bank accounts, life insurance, or selling real estate or other assets.
Do I need a Grant of Probate?
Not all wills need to be probated. Typically, estates greater in value than $25,000 require probate from the court, however there are several exceptions. For example, if the only asset is land, even if it is worth less than $25,000, a grant of probate will be required before a transfer can be registered with the Land Title and Survey Authority of BC. Further, assets in an estate which are held jointly may not pass through the estate and thus may be exempt from probate. If you are wondering if probate is required for your matter, you should consider scheduling a consultation with an estate administration lawyer.
What if there is no will?
If there is no will, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) outlines what happens to the assets and liabilities of a deceased's estate. For matters involving intestacy (i.e. dying without a will), it is always advisable to speak with a lawyer.
I am an executor - what should I consider?
If you have been appointed as executor under a will, or if you are considering applying to become an administrator of a deceased's estate, you should be aware that these roles come with great responsibility under the law. Acting in your capacity as executor or administrator, you may be taking on liabilities of the estate. Before taking on this role, it is best to seek a lawyer's advice regarding your duties and responsibilities for the particular estate you are administering.
How long does probate take?
The answer is that it varies from estate to estate. Probate can be a lengthy and time consuming process. If the estate is complex, or if there are a significant number of assets or beneficiaries who contest the will, the process can quickly become complicated. The best method to ensure a timely probate is to seek the guidance of a probate lawyer to help facilitate the application process under the law.
Contact us to schedule a consultation with an estate administration and probate lawyer.