Calgary Probate and Estate Administration Lawyers 

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. Adding the responsibility of untangling the often-complex logistics related to their Estate can make what is a difficult time even more stressful.

If you have been named as an executor of an Estate, it is important to talk to an experienced Estates lawyer as soon as possible to help you address the significant legal and financial responsibility that you now have, to help you the manage the legal issues you may be facing, and to effectively mitigate any risks and liabilities stemming of the Estate, all while protecting it and taking care of any beneficiaries.

The friendly, personable and professional team of Estate lawyers at DBH Law in Calgary have more than 25 years of experience helping our clients face the daunting task of acting as an executor of an Estate. We help our clients make informed decisions all the while avoiding unnecessary expenses and potential Estate disputes.

What Is an Executor? 

An executor is a person who has been appointed to carry out the wishes of a testator (i.e. someone who writes a Will). It’s often the case that an executor has not taken on such a responsibility before and may not appreciate the importance of this role or the risks and responsibilities they face.

Most critically, an executor owes a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of an Estate. That means that the executor must, at all times, make decisions with integrity and in good faith, with the best interest of the beneficiaries in mind. Failing to do so can result in serious personal legal or financial consequences.

Executors also have specific obligations, including:

  • Administering the Estate, including going through the probate process, if needed;
  • Locating and collecting the assets of the Estate;
  • Distributing the assets to beneficiaries according to the Will;
  • Keeping careful accounts and records of the Estate; and
  • Passing the accounts where necessary.

Probate in Alberta 

Probate is the process through which a Will is validated, in court, and the executor or executors are appointed.

Probate is not required in every instance, and the answer to whether or not probate is needed depends largely on the complexity of the Estate and the number of assets involved. Probate may be necessary where:

  • There are questions about the validity of a Will;
  • There is dispute over executors;
  • Proof of an executor’s authority is required for a third party (for instance a bank that needs to release funds;
  • Proof of an executor’s authority is required for a third party (e.g. a bank who needs to release funds, a land title’s office who requires probate before land can be transferred from the deceased’s name to someone else); and/or
  • There are significant assets in bank accounts or other investments.

If you are in doubt as to whether or not you must go through the probate process, speak to a knowledgeable Estates lawyer for guidance and advice.

How We Can Help 

The talented Estate lawyers at DBH Law are responsive and concise, helping our clients focus on their unique needs and issues, while providing competent advice gleaned through our years of experience helping executors with all stages of the process, including;

  • Understanding the nature and extent of their duties and obligations to the estate and any beneficiaries;
  • Interpreting the Will;
  • Fulfilling their duties and obligations; and
  • Determining whether they need to seek advice and direction from a court.

We understand the financial stress that can come with seeking legal advice during an already stressful period. We work hard to keep our rates affordable an offer cost-effective fees. We also keep costs down by working directly with our clients, whenever possible avoiding the costs that come with bringing a team of lawyers onto a file. We are practical and pragmatic, focusing on your precise needs and avoiding unnecessary work.

Calgary Probate and Estate Administration Lawyers 

The exceptional lawyers at DBH Law are responsive and concise, and can provide you with legal guidance on all of your Estate planning needs, including probate and Estate administration. We can be reached by online or by phone at 403.252.9937.