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Carrying Out Final Wishes

What fees are typically associated with probate?

If you are responsible for the probate and administration of an estate here in British Columbia, you might want to know what you will wind up having to pay.

The estate may be subject to probate filing fees during the process of proving the validity of the will and the testator's intentions. Any probate filing fees go to the Court Registry and are as follows:

-- For estates valued at less than $25,000, there is no fee.

-- Estates with values in excess of $25,000 are assessed a basic $208 fee.

-- For estates valued in the range of $25,000 and $50,000, in addition to the basic fee, $6 is assessed for every $1,000, which totals $358 for the first $50,000.

-- Larger estates worth more than $50,000 pay $358, with $14 assessed for every $1,000 over $50,000.

Probate fees are subject to change without notice and are generally only a small portion of the total cost of probating an estate. If assets are transferred out of one name and into another, more fees may be assessed, along with legal costs and other expenses.

Who determines the value of the estate?

Based on documents the estate administrator files, the Probate Registry of the Supreme Court makes an official determination of the estate value. But there can also be taxes owed, as the law assumes that upon a person's death, all of their assets were sold the day before he or she died. When assets increase in value, a capital gains taxes must be paid for the year of the decedent's death.

It can be a complex process to probate an estate, and executors often seek professional legal guidance to make sure that all is done correctly.

Source: The Canadian Bar Association, "Making a will and estate planning," accessed Aug. 26, 2016

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