Probate Lawyer Services in Vancouver

Our goal is to make the probate process as simple as possible, helping you avoid high costs and significant delays, and giving you peace of mind knowing your needs are taken care of and that the entire process runs smoothly.

At Monterio & Company, we have been helping executors and estate administrators for over a decade. We understand estate administration and focus our probate practice on providing legal services that are:

  • Personalized and informative
  • Efficient and timely
  • Cost effective

What is probate?

Probate is the process of obtaining legal authority to handle someone’s estate.

While not all estates have to go through the probate process (this will depend on the nature of the assets, among other things), most estates end up going through this process, and until the probate process is complete, it may not be possible for the executor to manage or distribute the assets of the estate.

It is important to understand that probate does not give the executors their power and authorization to act on behalf of an estate – a will does that — but probate is the court process that legally confirms their authority by granting the executor letters probate.

When is Probate Required?

The most common reason for getting an order of probate or administration is to obtain the ability to deal with, or to access the assets of the deceased and distribute them in accordance with the will or administration order. That said, there may be other reasons when probate or administration should be obtained even if all the assets of the deceased are obtainable by his or her personal representative.

Why Probate?

Probate can be an important tool for an executor. Some of the benefits of seeking probate include:

  • Proof of executor’s authority to third parties. Some of the executor’s duties include the need to deal with the assets of a deceased person. Third parties may require probate to ensure that they are dealing with the authorized executor, protecting them from claims that funds were paid out to a wrong party.
  • Ease when the estate includes a land transfer - land registry offices will generally require probate in order to transfer land out of the name of the deceased and into the name of someone else.
  • Creation of time limits on claims against the estate. Certain claims that the law allows against an estate (such as a claim for dependant’s relief or family law claims) may be time-limited and, depending on the jurisdiction, the limitation period may be measured against the date of the grant of probate. Without the grant, the time period for such claims may never expire.

The role of the probate lawyer

As your probate lawyers, we will:

  • Review the will and other circumstances to determine whether probate is necessary.
  • Advise you on all matters connected with the administration of the estate.
  • Prepare the application to the Court of competent jurisdiction to have you formally appointed personal representative of the estate and to obtain the grant.
  • Help you distribute the deceased’s estate to the beneficiaries.
  • Prepare releases for the beneficiaries to complete to show that the administration of the estate is complete.

Probate Services Anywhere in BC

We can act as your probate lawyer no matter where you are in British Columbia, and we can re-seal a grant of probate in British Columbia if you’re an executor living outside the province and the deceased owned property in British Columbia.

BC Probate Law FAQ

How long does the probate process take?

Probate can take several months. It depends on the complexity of the estate, and whether there are any disputes. Probate requires gathering financial information and due diligence. Documents are then submitted to a court registry, which can take at least a month to approve. There are waiting periods before and after approval, before funds can be distributed.

Should I hire a probate lawyer?

Executors can complete probate on their own, but a lawyer can help avoid pitfalls and manage risks and liability. Experience with estates can help speed up the process. Executors may be able to take on more of the role if they desire.

Can a probate be avoided?

With good estate planning, probate can often be limited/avoided.