PROBATE/ESTATES

In general, our Estate focus is on drafting documentation, powers of attorney, wills, heath care directives - also probate and administrative orders. If you already have counsel elsewhere, do not contact us for advice or an opinion as it is against the rules for us to comment on your legal matter. We don't handle litigation or disputes regarding Estate matters, or any other contentious matter or police matter re same, including interpretations of documents re validity or otherwise, that we have not drafted. (**Note: We generally do not take on last minute, urgent deathbed Wills).


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Lawyer & Notary Public, Winnipeg

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Legal services provided by the:   Kyle Soble law corporation. Lawyer/barrister & solicitor, Notary Public

kyle j soble

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Winnipeg, Manitoba & surrounding areas

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An individual's estate can be very basic or very complex. The three main questions we’re often asked are:

1. What is the cost?

2. What is probate and why does the Executor need to obtain Probate?

3. How long does the Probate process take?


1. Cost: There are two Main options. You can hire us to:

A. Handle Probate entirely for you.

B. Hourly, to assist you in obtaining Probate.


2. What is Probate and why does an Executor need to obtain it:


When someone dies, the term "Probate” refers to the legal process whereby the deceased's assets are collected together and, following various legal and fiscal steps and processes, eventually distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate.


Probate technically means the “official examination and proving of a will”. A Grant of Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a will.


So, Probate is a process that “proves” the Will of a deceased person is valid, so their property can in due course be transferred to beneficiaries of the will.


Once the Court of Probate has determined the legal validity of the Will, it grants its approval, also referred to as a Grant of Probate, to the executor. A Grant of Probate officially appoints the Executor.


An Executor is a person appointed by a Will to act in respect of the estate of the testator upon his or her death. An Executor is the legal personal representative of a deceased person's estate. The appointment of an Executor is only effective following the death of the Will maker. Note, when a person dies without a Will then the legal personal representative is known as the Administrator.


An Executor has many duties. It’s important that Executors of the Will are guided in how and when to distribute assets. Some examples of an Executors duties are:

a. Legal notice publication. This helps ensure that creditors and other parties that may have a claim against the estate are notified.

b. Income taxes and other tax reporting.

c. Administrative filings with the Court of Probate, the Government, etc.

d. Respecting the rights of beneficiaries, in terms of providing proper and adequate notice, making timely distribution of estate assets, and otherwise administering the estate properly and efficiently.

e. Abiding by the fiduciary duties.

f. Collecting and creating an inventory of the decedent's property.

g. Determine which assets are Probate assets (requiring administration) by determining whether each asset passes inside or outside of Probate.

h. Dealing with banks, and other institutions on behalf of the deceased. The Grant of Probate from the court ensures the institutions that the Executor has the approval of the Court behind him and hence, legal safeguards.

i. Once Probate is granted from the court, the Executor can take copies of the Grant of Probate to whomever may require it, such as financial institutions, life insurance companies, the Land Titles Office, the Canada Revenue Agency, etc.


More on the costs:


The cost depends on the value of the estate. There are both Probate fees and Legal fees to consider.


A. Probate fees are the fees paid to the Provincial government upon submitting the Request for Probate. They are calculated as follows:

i. where the value of the estate is $10,000 or less, $70

ii. where the value of the estate is more than $10,000, $70 plus $7 for every additional $1,000 or fraction thereof.


B. Legal fees and disbursements are the fees paid to the lawyers for their services in connection with the estate. There is no minimum legal fee in Manitoba but lawyers are governed by Queen’s Bench Rule 74.14 which sets out the following formula for calculating legal fees:

i. 3% on the first $100,000, or portion of that amount, of the total value of the estate, subject to a minimum fee of $1,500;

ii. 1.25% on the next $400,000, or portion of that amount, of the total value of the estate;

iii. 1% on the next $500,000, or portion of that amount, of the total value of the estate; and

iv. 0.5% on the total value of the estate over $1,000,000.


3. How long does the Probate process take?


The amount of time it takes depends on how simple or complex the estate is; the length of time it takes to initially gather the information, and thereafter to put the initial paperwork together and make the Court submission; the time it takes for the Court of Probate to review the matter, (and ask any questions or clarifications if necessary) and thereafter issue a Grant of Probate. Generally speaking, 2 to 4 months on average, is a rough ballpark guideline regarding time. However, it can be longer, once again, depending on the complexity or simplicity of the estate, etc.