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Carrying Out Final Wishes

What are the fees associated with probating an estate?

If you have been named as administrator of an estate, one of the duties is to see that all fees and costs associated with the estate are paid fully and in a timely manner.

In order to determine what, if any, fees must be paid in order to obtain a grant of probate or to reseal it, the estate must first be valuated accurately. This is vital because estates with a value of less than $25,000 are exempt from probate fees under the provisions of the Supreme Court Civil Rules.

Probate fees also are not due in the following circumstances:

-- Grant de bonis non

-- Double probates

-- Cessate grants

For estates with values in excess of $25,000, either when this may be disclosed prior to or subsequently from the issuance of the grant or resealing, respectively, the amount due is:

-- $6 on each $1,000, or the portion of $1,000 that the estate's value is in excess of $25,000 yet does not exceed $50 000; and

-- $14 on each $1,000 or the portion of $1,000 that the estate's value exceeds $50,000.

Should the grant already be issued or resealed and the personal representative of the estate discovers a previously undisclosed asset that formerly belonged to the deceased but was omitted from the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Distribution, the affidavit must be revised to correctly reflect the value.

In such cases, it is the responsibility of the personal representative to disclose the finding of the asset and its value to the court. Additionally, they are responsible for paying any difference to the government between the fee that was paid for the grant to be issued or any resealing and what is actually owed on the new estate total.

As one might imagine, this can be a complex wrinkle for a personal representative to sort out, and consulting with an estate administrator lawyer could be very enlightening to resolve such a dilemma.

Source: bclaws.ca, "Probate Fee Act," accessed May 05, 2016

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