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Probate Law

Professional probate lawyers in calgary

Are you looking for a probate lawyer in Calgary? First West Law LLP can help you through the legal probate process as you deal with wills and estates


Our experienced probate lawyers have helped many clients navigate difficulties and losses after the passing of a loved one. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a probate lawyer.

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal process under which a will is legally accepted and becomes a valid public document. The probate process protects the executor from claimants of the estate by obtaining court approval for the disposition. The executor determines the estate’s debts, assets, distributable gifts, beneficiaries and, with assistance, completes the probate process and files all tax returns of the deceased. 


In instances where there is a will, a named executor will usually need to apply to the Surrogate Court of Alberta to receive a formal grant of probate to proceed. 


The experienced wills and probate lawyers at First West Law in Calgary can help you plan your affairs so that the expense of probate may not be necessary in some cases.

When is Probate Required?

An application for probate is required for most wills in Alberta. Scenarios that will require having a will probated include:

  • If the deceased’s estate is very complex.
  • Banks and other financial institutions hold some part of the estate, and you need to get that cleared.
  • The deceased owned real estate.

If you are unsure whether you need to apply for probate, speak to our wills and estate lawyers today to discuss your situation.

What is Needed for Probate?

You must submit the following documents to the court to acquire a grant of probate:

  • The will of the deceased person.
  • Contact details for the executor and the probate lawyer.
  • Affidavit of the executor.
  • Information on the deceased and your relatives.
  • Details regarding the final will and testaments.
  • The executor's information.
  • The beneficiaries' information.
  • An inventory of the estate's assets and liabilities in their entirety.
  • Witnesses to the will provide affidavits.
  • Notice of the beneficiaries.
  • Beneficiaries are notified about specific gifts.

What Happens if There is No Will?

When a person dies without a will, it is categorized as “intestate” death. In such cases, you can apply for a Grant of Administration and ask the court to appoint someone for the administration and distribution of the estate of the deceased. 


According to the Surrogate Rules, priority is given to the deceased's family in the following order:

  • The deceased's surviving spouse or adult independent partner.
  • In case of the absence of a surviving adult independent partner, or if they are unwilling or unable to act, the deceased's children.
  • When there are no children or if the children are reluctant or unable to act, the deceased's grandchildren.
  • The deceased's parents.
  • The siblings of the deceased.
  • Other members of the deceased's family.

Only by court order can the Grant of Administration be awarded to more than three people at the same time in Alberta. Except for spouses and adult interdependent partners, residents of Alberta are prioritized.


Contact First West Law LLP to speak with a probate lawyer in Calgary.

Related Posts 

Read more about probate law in our related blog posts: 

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    It can be difficult to discuss the prospect of serious illness or age-related cognitive decline with your parents, but it will be more difficult to handle health care decisions and financial matters if these conversations don’t take place in advance, while your parents have mental capacity to make a plan. Do your parents have enduring powers of attorney and personal directives? Do you understand the difference between the two, and the importance of having both an enduring power of attorney (“POA”) and a personal directive (“PD”) in the event of a parent’s incapacity? If you do not know the answers to these questions, you should read on for more info, or reach out to our team of experienced wills and probate lawyers in Calgary.

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    Probating is the legal process of validating a will and giving an executor the authority to act on the deceased’s behalf. This process is required in most circumstances, and you should consult a probate lawyer even if the will is not complicated. While in some circumstances a will may not need to be probated; only a lawyer can tell you for certain.


    For their protection, banks, trust companies and other financial institutions need proof that an individual is the executor of an estate before turning over funds to them. If there’s no will, assets are divided in accordance with Alberta estate law, and family members can apply to be administrators of the estate.

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    Have your parents signed an enduring power of attorney yet?

    Appointing someone under an enduring power of attorney means authorizing a person (usually a family member or friend) to make financial decisions and transactions on your behalf if you become mentally incapacitated. It is a wise precaution and one everyone, especially seniors, should seriously consider. 


    If you have elderly parents and they haven’t yet begun to think about appointing an enduring power of attorney, you should begin discussing the subject with them. Here’s what you need to know.

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