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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where and how do I file an application for probate in Alberta?

In a recent comment on a post, a reader told me that she was having trouble finding information about where and how an application for probate is filed in Alberta. I understood her to mean that she was looking for an address, phone number or other specific information. I thought a few others might be interested in this information as well, so I'm answering the question in this post as well as in the "recent comments" section.

In Alberta, applications for probate are filed at the Court of Queen's Bench, which is always in the local courthouse. In Calgary and Edmonton only, there is a separate counter in the courthouse that deals with Surrogate Matters, which includes probate, so you would go to the Surrogate Court counter (it's a division of Queen's Bench). In all other centres, go to the Queen's Bench counter.

Take your original documents, signed by the executor, together with the original Will, plus a photocopy of everything. Give all of these documents to the clerk. He or she will take a look at this package, and if it seems fine, will keep the originals and put a stamp on your photocopy with the date and a court file number. You won't get the originals back but you will keep the photocopy. You will pay the clerk a fee of somewhere between $25 and $400 depending on the value of the estate.

If your documents are not ok, the clerk will give them back to you and ask you to make corrections. This may mean that you have to come back another day. Once everything is acceptable to the clerk, he or she will give it to a judge. You don't have to appear in front of the judge unless he/she has questions for you or a problem with your application.

This process usually takes a few weeks.

To call any clerk of the court toll-free from anywhere in Alberta, call 310-0000 (no area code needed). Ask the operator to connect you to the Clerk of the Court of Queen's Bench in the town you're interested in. If the file is in Calgary and Edmonton you can ask for the Clerk of the Surrogate Court. If you are checking on documents that you've already filed, quote the court file number you were given when the clerk stamped your documents, as they are filed by that number, not by name.

Those of you who need this kind of information in the future, keep an eye open for my new Alberta Probate and Administration Kit that will be out in spring of 2011.

1 comment:

  1. what is the probate fees for manitoba, and how can I reduce them. There's a house and RRIF's and some cash.


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