Probate an Estate (Saskatchewan)

Probate is a legal process that validates a deceased person’s Will. It involves proving in court that the Will is valid and verifying the appointment of the Executor named in the Will to administer the estate.

In Saskatchewan, probate may be required when the deceased owned assets solely in their name, such as real estate or bank accounts. If the deceased’s assets were jointly owned, probate may not be necessary as ownership automatically transfers to the surviving joint owner in some cases. Not every estate needs to be probated. Whether probate is required will depend on the type of assets owned by the deceased and how ownership of those assets is held.

Bank accounts held jointly between a parent and a child may not follow the typical rules related to survivorship. It is recommended that legal advice be sought anytime a deceased held joint bank accounts with a child.

The probate process involves submitting the original signed Will to the court, along with an application and an inventory of the deceased’s assets. The court then issues a Grant of Probate, which confirms the Executor’s authority to administer the estate according to the terms of the Will.

When an estate is required to apply for a Grant of Probate, a probate fee is paid to the Court of King’s Bench – $7 for every $1000 of value in the estate (0.7% of the total value of the estate). Although this is an additional cost for the estate, Saskatchewan has some of the lowest probate fees in the country. Suppose a lawyer is used to assist the personal representative of the estate in applying for probate. In that case, there are legal fees payable by the estate, in addition to the probate fees.

It is important to note that not all assets are subject to probate. Some assets held in joint tenancy, assets with designated beneficiaries (such as life insurance policies or RRSPs), and assets held in trust may pass outside of the probate process. Consulting with a lawyer can help you understand whether probate is required for your situation and how to navigate the process efficiently.

Disclaimer: This Blog is intended to provide readers with general information. Each client’s circumstances and legal solutions might vary. For further details, please reach out to us to learn more.

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