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Carrying Out Final Wishes

Avoiding problems with probate

Despite the best intentions, not all probates proceed smoothly. If you are responsible for probating and administering an estate, you might run into some of these typical problems.

-- Inadequate will searches. The process must include all variations of names. When handling land transfers, the names must be listed exactly as they appear in the first part of the Title of Land to legally transfer the property. Omitting an initial or adding one in can void the title.

-- Rush applications when there is urgency to get a grant. Expedited grants can be obtained; however, a letter must be attached to the registrar that details the reasons for this sense of urgency.

-- Rule 61(19) regarding the unstapling of the will must be followed.

-- Sometimes an affidavit is needed from notaries practicing outside of British Columbia. These affidavits must be sworn under a notary seal.

-- Certified copies must be requested from the registry.

-- The affidavit of administrator requires all persons to be cleared off in the third paragraph if they are entitled, as well as the survivors.

-- Make sure that all of the documents are included, and if there is a reason why they are missing, this must be addressed as well.

-- Sometimes all debts can't by paid by the estate. When this occurs, consents from each unpaid creditor have to be included. Don't forget the Canada Revenue Agency.

This list cites only a few of the problems that can crop up and throw a monkey wrench into the probate process. Correcting mistakes is often more expensive than doing it right the first time, which is why estate administration lawyers can be so helpful.

Source: Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, "Working With the Probate Registry," Jim Andrews, accessed March 04, 2016

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