Probating a Will in BC

February 22, 2022 | Published by

If you are an executor of will or simply looking at what’s involved in writing your own will, you’ve probably come across the term “probate.” If you’re having trouble figuring out what probating a will means and if it applies in your situation, you’ve come to the right place. 

What does it mean when a will goes into “probate”?

Probate refers to the process of making sure the deceased’s will is valid. This is important because certain institutions, like a bank or mutual fund company, won’t release assets without proper proof that a will is in its final version and the executor is the person named in the will.

In BC, the process of probating is performed by the Supreme Court.

When is probating a will required?

Whether a will needs to be probated depends on the kinds of agencies and financial institutions that hold assets within an estate.

Examples of institutions that require probate are banks, the Land Title Office, and ICBC (in some cases).

Examples of assets that do not require probate are property held in joint names, and assets that have a named beneficiary (RRSPs, RRIFs, life insurance policies, pensions).

Who is responsible for probating a will?

If it becomes clear that probate is needed and you are the executor of the will, you will be the one required to apply for probate from the Supreme Court.

What are the steps to probating a will?

Probating a will in BC can be summarized in the following five steps:

  1. Give notice of proposed application to the appropriate parties involved
  2. Prepare the probate application for the Supreme Court including affidavits and an original signed version of the will
  3. File the probate application with the Supreme Court and pay the court filing fee
  4. Pay probate fees established by the probate registry
  5. Proceed with administering the estate

Needless to say, if you plan to do this alone as the executor, prepare yourself for a considerable amount of paperwork! There are many forms you will need to fill out and you need to be sure that the information you provide is accurate.

Though there is no requirement to hire someone, the services of a notary are generally recommended.

Ready to get started with probating a will in BC?

If you are unsure whether or not a will must be probated, or if you need help getting through the process of probating a will, you may wish to seek the legal advice of a notary. With years of experience and a personalized approach, our notaries are happy to help. 

Contact our downtown notary today by filling in the contact form on our website.