“Probate” is a process in which an Executor is named in a deceased person’s Will or a person who wishes to act as the Estate Trustee for the estate of a person who died without a Will needs to take in order to fully dispose of and administer the deceased’s estate. It involves bringing an Application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee before the Court and, in cases where the estate has a total value of over $50,000.00, the payment of estate administration taxes also known as probate fees.
Not every estate will need to be probated. There are two main situations in which an estate will need to be Probated:
1. To transfer or sell real estate that the deceased owned on the date of their death that (a) was not jointly owned with another person on a joint tenancy basis and/or (b) which was not subject to the “first dealings” exception.
2. To transfer funds held in a bank account or other financial asset that was not (a) jointly owned and subject to right of survivorship or (b) which was not subject to a beneficiary designation and which is above a certain dollar value (the exact amount of which varies from financial institution to financial institution and from branch to branch).
If you are the Executor named in a deceased’s persons Will or if you wish to act as the Estate Trustee of the estate of a loved one who died without a Will, we can help you navigate the probate process to ensure that the deceased’s wishes set out in their Will are carried out and that those persons entitled to receive a share of the deceased’s estate in situations in which the deceased does not have a Will receive what they are legally entitled to receive.