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Grant of Probate Definition

Grant of Probate definition: one of the court documents establishing that the deceased is dead, who the personal representative is, whether there is a will or not and, if there is a will, whether it is the last valid will.

(Note: the term “personal representative” is the current legal term used to refer to an executor/executrix, administrator/administratix, and judicial trustee.)

The Grant of Probate gives the personal representative the legal authority to manage the deceased person's estate. With a Grant of Probate, you will be able to act in the place of the deceased and organizations like financial institutions will know that you are legally entitled to do so.

A Grant of Probate is granted when a will exists and the person making the application for the grant is the personal representative named in the will. If the people named as personal representatives in the will cannot or will not accept the appointment, a Grant of Administration with Will Annexed can be granted to someone else. If there is no will, the court can issue a Grant of Administration.

To receive a Grant of Probate, the person appointed as personal representative in the will must apply to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Surrogate Matters).

When to Apply for a Grant of Probate

You must apply for a Grant of Probate (or other type of grant as the case may be) if the estate has any of the following assets solely in the name of the deceased:

  • Large bank accounts
  • Real estate
  • Investment portfolios
  • RRSPs, RRIFs, or insurance money that goes into the estate (you don't need a Grant of Probate if these have their own beneficiaries)
  • Anything that requires legal evidence of your right to manage the asset

You don't need a Grant of Probate for assets in a trust that the deceased person set up while living or for managing joint property that goes to the other joint owner or owners.

Grant of Probate Forms

If there is no dispute over the will, the personal representative must file a number of non-contentious (NC) documents. Below is a list of commonly used forms. Not every form must be used in every case.

  • Application
  • Affidavit
  • Deceased
  • Will
  • Personal Representative
  • Beneficiaries
  • Inventory
  • Affidavit of Witness to Will
  • Affidavit of Handwriting
  • Renunciation of Probate
  • Renunciation of Administration with the Will Annexed
  • Renunciation of Administration
  • Affidavit to Dispense with a Bond
  • Consent to Waive Bond
  • Notice to Beneficiaries (Residuary)
  • Notice to Beneficiaries (Non-residuary)
  • Notice to Beneficiaries (Intestacy)
  • Notice to Spouse (Matrimonial Property Act)
  • Notice to Spouse/Adult Interdependent Partner of Deceased
  • Notices to Dependent Child of the Deceased
  • Notice to Public Trustee


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