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Peter J. Bruckshaw - Helping Families Transition through Separation and Divorce


How much does the executor receive for his or her work winding up the estate?

The compensation paid to an executor for their work is not determined by a fixed percentage of the estate or some other formula. The general rule is that an executor is entitled to compensation that is fair and reasonable in all of the circumstances. The executor cannot take payment for his or her work unless or until all of the beneficiaries have consented to it in writing, or until the Court has ordered such compensation. Generally, when the administration of the estate is almost complete, we would approach the beneficiaries, on your behalf, proposing a payment of compensation to you, for your time and trouble as executor.

Can an executor resign after securing a Grant of Probate?

An executor may resign from the job, provided he or she first makes arrangement for a new executor to complete the task.

How long does it take to probate a will and wind up the estate?

There are several steps to the administration and winding up of an estate, including but not limited to: reviewing the Will, preparing an inventory of the assets and debts, preserving the assets, make application for Probate, determining potential claims against the estate, advertise for creditors, prepare documents for transfer of real estate and investments, prepare beneficiary releases, distribute the assets to beneficiaries, secure compensation for the executor, and file appropriate estate tax returns. With a small estate some of these steps are unnecessary or fairly simple, and the estate can be wound up quickly. With a larger and more complex estate, perhaps with many beneficiaries or assets in the form of complicated financial investments, or a Will the interpretation of which is in dispute - such estates can sometimes take several months or more to wind up.

Why is it necessary to Probate a will?

There are two main reasons why it is necessary to Probate a Will. Firstly, it is sometimes not possible to transfer or “cash-in” assets of the estate, unless you have a Grant of Probate from the Court. Secondly, a grant of Probate is the authorization of the Court of Queen’s Bench for an executor to administer the estate as provided for in the Will. Sometimes there are difficulties with a Will. Sometimes a Will is not executed properly or not witnessed properly. Sometimes a Will is very old, and there is some question as to whether there is another more recent Will. Was the person who executed the Will of sound mind and body at the time of signing? By granting Probate the Court is authorizing and empowering the executor to manage the Estate in accordance with that particular Will. No one can later fault the executor for following the provisions of the Will, because the Court’s Grant of Probate has declared the Will to be valid.

How much are Probate Fees?

When application is made for a Grant of Probate or Estate Administration, the Court charges probate fees. The probate fees are $70.00 on the first $10,000.00 value of the estate and then $7.00 per $1,000.00 or portion of a $1,000.00 thereafter. For example an estate worth $11,000.00 would be charged probate fees of $77.00. An estate worth $1,500,000.00 would incur probate fees of $10,500.00. Probate fees are generally paid out of the estate.

Is it necessary to get the assets of the estate appraised or valued?

A relatively accurate and realistic value should be submitted by the executor to the Court when applying for probate. Generally appraisals are not done. However, when it is difficult to determine a realistic estimate of value of an asset, then an appraisal must be done.

How much are the legal fees for the administration of an estate?

Legal fees are paid out of the estate. In most cases legal fees are paid pursuant to a Court of Queen’s Bench Tariff. The Tariff provides that legal fees are 3% on the first $10,000.00 of the estate, 2% on the next $90,000.00 of the estate, and 1% on the next $200,000.00 of the estate. For example, an estate with a total value of $300,000.00 would result in legal fees of $4,100.00. In circumstances where the estate administration was complex or time consuming, the lawyer may request additional compensation.

When is it necessary to Pass Accounts?

If the beneficiaries refuse to approve the way in which you have managed and distributed the estate, it is necessary to make application to Court for a passing of accounts. The executor is asking the Court to approve the way in which the estate has been administered.

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We have years of experience to pull from when dealing with the challenge of managing your estate matters.

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Phone: (204) 942-1799

What We Do

We know that every family is different and every client has their own unique needs and priorities. In our first interview we want to listen. We want to hear your concerns and thoroughly understand your situation and only then offer our suggestions on how you might proceed. Some of these situations are discussed below.

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