Probate is the process of validating a will and settling an estate after someone dies. In Canada, a family member, a friend or another person can be appointed as the executor of an estate. The executor of the estate has the power to gather and secure the assets laid out in the will and has the task of distributing these assets as per the instructions set forth in the will, as well as pay off any liabilities of the estate.
Estate matters involve complex legal processes that can drag on if not handled correctly. Utilizing the services of a probate lawyer can help resolve estate matters more smoothly.
Here are some instances in which you should consider hiring an estates and probate lawyer:
Writing a will
A will provides instructions on how an estate is to be distributed upon death. Since many complex legal issues may arise in your decision to draft a will, it is recommended that you consult an estates and probate lawyer when writing a will. Doing so can help reduce the risk of unintended consequences or errors, which will, in turn, make the probate process much easier for those involved.
Being named as executor in a will
If you are named as executor in a will, it is advisable to hire a probate lawyer to provide guidance throughout the process before you begin your executor duties. A probate lawyer can help ensure that the wishes of the deceased are followed in accordance with the law. Hiring a probate lawyer also helps to safeguard executors from assuming personal legal liabilities in the course of their duties.
When there are delays in the probate process
While probate may not be required in every instance, the aim of many estates is to probate a will as soon as possible. In BC, it may takes anywhere from two to six months on average for a probate application to be processed by the court. There will then be waiting periods to allow interested parties to make claims if they wish. The entire probate process can last up to a year, sometimes longer. The process may be delayed if the executor has little or no probate experience. If this is the case, a probate lawyer can help speed up the process by providing guidance during the probate application so that the grant of probate can be obtained as quickly as possible.
Richmond probate lawyer
Are you searching for an estates and probate lawyer in Richmond, BC? Contact us at Bernard Lau and Co. Law Corporation.
We would be happy to help you prepare a will that contains your wishes for your estate or, if you are an executor of a will, we can help you apply for the grant of probate and assist you in carrying out your duties as executor afterwards.
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