May 5th, 2021 by Nancy Ling

Partner Nancy Ling regularly advises clients in the practice areas of wills, trusts, estate and incapacity planning, estate administration, residential and commercial real estate, property matters, corporate transactions and business law.

In this edition of Legal Matters she discusses probating a will and what that means.


I frequently help clients administer an estate when somebody dies. The first question that comes up is usually do I have to probate the will or get a grant of probate?

Let's start with what is probate? The legal term probate means to prove a will. The probate process is essentially asking the court to confirm that a will is valid and therefore confirm that the person named in that will as the executor is the proper legal representative for the deceased estate. It is not mandatory to have a will probated and if you can manage without requiring a grant of probate you can likely wind up the estate faster and with less expense. Whether or not you have to get probate will depend on the kind of assets that the deceased owned when they died, how they on those assets and the requirements of certain third parties like banks and the Land Title Office. One example is it if a person dies as the sole owner of real estate in BC the Land Title Office requires the will to be probated before they will let the executor sell or transfer the property. If you are not sure if a will need to be probated or you are not sure how to proceed where there is no will we welcome you to give FH&P Lawyers a call.

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