There are many stages the executor of an estate must navigate
through when administering a will in British Columbia. One of the most
important is probate. The purpose of probate is to convince a judge of the
veracity of the will so that the rest of the process can unfold. In order to do
so, several key documents must be created and submitted.
One of these documents is the Submission for Estate Grant, a general form that provides the court details about the application. Also required is an Affidavit of the Applicant. This form identifies the executor and his or her relationship to the testator, the formal term for the writer of the will. The relationship does not need to be familial and could be professional or based on friendship.
Affidavits of Delivery are provided to confirm that any person who required notification of the application was, in fact, notified. One of the more complicated documents is the Affidavit of Assets and Liabilities. This is a complete list of all the assets and liabilities that make up the estate, and it is divided into three parts: real property, consisting of all homes and land; personal property, such as cars, household goods, cash, jewelry, and the CPP death benefit; and lastly, liabilities.
Next, the executor will need to provide the signed, original will. If this is not available, a copy will suffice. Finally, two copies of the Certificate of Wills Search are required. This can be obtained after searching the Wills Registry. In British Columbia, this is maintained by the Vital Statistics Agency and is a service of the provincial government.
The process of probate is usually not tremendously lengthy, typically lasting a minimum of two or three months but often taking considerably longer depending on the assets and complexity of the estate. Nevertheless, it is an involved process and can be intimidating to many individuals. Estate executors may wish to seek assistance from a lawyer who deals with estate law on a regular basis.
Source: Clicklaw Wikibooks, “Probating the Will”, Accessed on Jan. 28, 2017