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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Answering two Alberta-specific questions

Two different readers have recently asked me questions about things specifically relating to Alberta, so I'm answering them both here.

Firstly, the form you use to put a Notice to Creditors and Claimants in the newspaper (in Alberta only) is called Form NC34, and is found in the Surrogate Rules. I'm attaching a link here that you can follow to get the form. You'll have to scroll about halfway down; the forms are in numerical order.

Also make sure you read Rule 38 which governs how and when to publish the notice, as follows:

38(1)  If a personal representative publishes a notice to claimants, the personal representative must do so in accordance with this rule and may use Form NC 34.
(2)  A notice to claimants must be published in a newspaper
             (a)    that is published or circulated in the area where the deceased usually lived, or
             (b)    if the deceased did not usually live in Alberta, that is published or circulated in the area where a significant amount of the deceased’s property is situated.
(3)  A notice to claimants must be published,
            (a)    in the case of an estate with a gross value of $100 000 or less, at least once, or
            (b)    in the case of an estate with a gross value of more than $100 000, at least twice with 5 days or more between the publications.
AR 130/95 s38;135/96;165/2010

The second question was about how much a lawyer charges to file for probate in Alberta. The general rule set down about 15 years ago is that lawyers will charge $2,250 plus .5% of the estate where the estate is valued at no more than $150,000. Where the estate is valued at more than that, the lawyer will charge $2,250 plus 1% of the estate. This charge is for what are known as core legal services, or the services that are normally required on any estate, including applying for probate. If the lawyer does any of the work that is normally done by the executor (the non-core legal services), the lawyer will charge his or her usual hourly rate.

Not all lawyers follow this general guideline, nor is it required that they do. It's always a good idea to discuss fees and disbursements in the first meeting with any professional before you ask them to do any work for you.

(By the way, both of these questions and many others are covered in my upcoming book, the Alberta Probate Kit).


  1. Hi, My dad passed away recently in Alberta, without a will and really nothing that really named an executor. I am 1 of 9 children.. for the past few years he has had a joint bank account with one of his granddaughters, which had right of surviourship.. while I am assuming the money in the account belongs to her.. I am wondering how we go about requesting bank statments for the past few years.. The bank tells me she ( the granddaughter) has to OK it and I know for a fact she won't..does the lawyer for my dads estate just need to request them.. Or could I do it myself? Thanks

  2. My mother passed away without a will. The court has approved a Grant of Administration. I plan to publish a Form NC34 in the local newspaper and have responses go to a PO Box. I noticed that all of the NC34 published in the newspaper have a Lawyer as the contact. Do I need a lawyer to do this process?

  3. Hi. I have a question about publishing the NC34 in Alberta. I noticed that all of the notices identify a Lawyer as the contact. I was planning to do it myself and use a PO Box. Do I need a Lawyer?

    1. Hi Sandeel. No, you don't have to hire a lawyer. You can put yourself in as the contact, if you are the executor.


  4. Hi, What is the legislated requirement on the date that I put on an NC34? Melodey


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