Probate lawyers in Alberta may be retained for various services. The Surrogate Rules categorize these services as core legal services and non-core legal services.
Core Legal Services
- Core legal services are those related to the administration of the estate, including:
- Receiving instructions from the executor and advising the executor on all matters related to the administration of the estate, including the probate lawyer fees and executor fees.
- Reviewing the will and all information required for completing probate forms, and preparing the application for Grant of Probate and all required forms.
- Preparing all documents to advertise for creditors and to transfer and realize the estate's assets.
- Advising the executor to file tax returns and confirming clearance certificates from the Canada Revenue Agency.
- Advising the executor of the law governing the distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries.
- Submitting the executor's financial statements and release forms to the beneficiaries.
(Note: the term “personal representative” is the current legal term used to refer to an executor/executrix, administrator/administratix, and judicial trustee.)
Non-Core Legal Services
There may be other services required due to special circumstances, such as the sale of land or businesses or performing duties that would normally be carried out by the executor. Such non-core services are not typically required for the administration of the estate.
Choosing a Probate Lawyer in Alberta
When you need a lawyer for matters related to probate, wills, and estates, choose someone who is experienced in these areas. A lawyer who does not have in-depth understanding of probate and estate law may not be positioned to give you the best advice.
An estate lawyer does not need to reside in the jurisdiction where the will is being probated. For example, our probate lawyers in Calgary can help you with probate anywhere in Alberta. We can also help you if you live outside Alberta but are the personal representative for an estate in Alberta or if the estate you are managing has assets in Alberta.
Probate Lawyer Fees
The Law Society of Alberta has suggested fee guidelines for probate lawyers' core legal services. The fee guidelines suggest a base fee plus a percentage based on the value of the estate.
We don't use those guidelines, and that is often to our client's benefit. Larger estates can be simple and smaller estates can be complex so we prefer to base our fees on how much work is involved. As a result, our fees are usually less—sometimes significantly less—than the guidelines.
Contact us today and we'll schedule an appointment, by phone or in person, to discuss your situation. We'll let you know what our estimated fees may be, based on the information you provide at that time. We'll also tell you honestly if we don't think you need to probate the estate.
For your convenience, we also offer weekend appointments.