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What you need to know about probate

In Alberta, there is a flat fee for probate - $400.

You do not need probate for assets that are jointly held. For example, if a mother and son jointly held a home and the mother passed away, the son assumes ownership of the home and does not need probate to assume ownership. You also don't need to probate assets that have a named beneficiary, such as an RRSP or pension. All that is needed typically to claim ownership is a valid Death Certificate.

If you have assets that are not jointly held, especially real estate, the executor may need to obtain probate to get access to the assets. It may also be necessary to apply for probate if an asset is the subject of litigation or a dependent has made claim against the asset or is challenging the validity of the estate.

"Everything is so much easier and faster with proper estate planning," explains Wills & Estates Lawyer James Carr. "It really does not take that long to set up a basic estate plan. For most clients, one or two meetings will suffice.

"If you have a complex estate, it is even more important to get expert legal help because the complications and frustrations for the beneficiaries can be significant."

Discover what's best for you by requesting a consultation with James Carr.

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