Calgary Probate Lawyer (Estates Lawyer)

Were you appointed an executor or executrix for a deceased individual and need to get a grant of probate in Alberta to probate the will? As an estates lawyer, Peter Sartore  can help you through the time-consuming and complex process of getting a Grant of Probate and administering the estate.

What is Probate?

Probate is basically court approval of a Will.  The Surrogate Court in Alberta can give a Grant of Probate.  This is essentially like a court order that states the attached Will is the final Will of the deceased that the court approves.

Is Probate necessary?

You typically will require probate if the deceased has significant assets with financial institutions or if they own property that needs to change hands at the Land Titles Office.  The reason is that it protects these institutions before they transfer assets of the estate. What if the bank had released funds to the wrong person or to a person who was attempting to defraud the estate? In that situation, the bank could be liable for the funds which were improperly released. Therefore, in order to protect against this, many financial institutions require a grant of probate before funds are released to the Executor (personal representative) in certain cases.  You might not require Probate.  We can help you determine if you do in our initial, free consultation.

How do I get Probate without a Will?

Grant of Administration (or Letters of Administration) can be applied for from the Surrogate Court if the deceased individual never had a will prepared.  There is little difference between Grant of Administration and Probate.  Legislation will dictate how a deceased’s person’s Estate is distributed without a will.  We can help you apply for a Grant of Administration and administer an Estate without a will.

Estate Administration

Administering a deceased’s estate can be complex, emotionally taxing, and can take a long time. The Executor bears risks if they do not administer the Estate properly.  If money is distributed before all liabilities are paid out, the Executor will have to pay those liabilities.  If a tax clearance certificate is required, there can be substantial delays at the Canada Revenue Agency.  Delays can be encountered at the courthouse if the court documents are not filled out completely and accurately. There is a lot of leg work involved in administering an estate. An executor needs to locate and deal with all of the estate’s assets and debts, beneficiaries, insurance companies, and the Canada Revenue Agency, and real estate assets might need to be sold as well.  We can take care of the probate process and the process of administering the estate.


Alberta Probate fees are the lowest in the country.  A fee is charged by the Surrogate Court for the Probate Fee.  Our legal fees to Probate an Estate are competitive and less than the guideline recommendation fees set out by the Law Society of Alberta.  The Estate and not the Executor would be responsible for any Probate and legal fees.  Call us for help in getting Probate and in administration of the estate.

Learn More