Estate Administration Lawyer

Driessen De Rudder Law OfficeDriessen De Rudder Law Office
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Our estate administration lawyer can provide advice and service in Barrhead and rural communities. Free initial phone consultations at 587-847-5410.

Barrhead Estate Administration Lawyer

We cannot avoid dying. Many people struggle with the fact they will die someday, so they fail to make a Will. If a person dies without a Will, their assets may not be distributed according to their wishes. Although Alberta law assumes the deceased person would want their property to go to their family, the whole process becomes complex.

If the valid Will exists, obtaining a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Administration may be necessary. Administering an estate can be extraordinarily confusing for many individuals. Many steps must be followed depending on whether the individual died intestate (without a will) or testate (with a will). Estate administration lawyers, sometimes called probate lawyers, deeply understand the estate planning process in Canada.

If you are facing responsibilities in administering an estate after the death of a loved one, it ss easy to feel overwhelmed. There are many documents to process and procedures to follow. At Driessen De Rudder Law Office, our experienced lawyers can help shoulder your burden and take the complications out of estate administration.

How do Estate Administration and Probate Work in Alberta?


After the death of a loved one, a probate process can be necessary to ensure that a decedent’s wishes are followed. A Personal Representative or Executor in a Will has to go through probate to obtain the Grant of Probate.

When making a will, the Testator names a Personal Representative or an Executor. When the Will is not valid, or in the absence of it, no one has the authority to administer the estate. In that case, the Grant of Administration gives an Applicant the authority to handle the estate as a Personal Representative or an Administrator.

In Alberta, the probate procedure is necessary when a Testator dies and leaves behind more than $25,000 in the amount of assets. Probate minimizes disputes about who should inherit the assets of the deceased’s estate and ensure that taxes are paid. In addition, probate ensures all the debts are paid before assets are distributed.

However, obtaining a Grant of Probate can be time-consuming and complex. It can include the following tasks:

Locating the Will and ensuring it’s valid;
Arranging for the funeral of the deceased;
Making a list of the deceased’s assets and liabilities, along with the list of the beneficiaries;
Paying any debts;
Distributing the assets.

Bear in mind this list is not exhaustive. Duties of the Personal Representative may vary and include additional tasks unique to the deceased’s estate. Having a skilled estate planning lawyer by your side can make the probate process feel much easier.

If you have lost a loved one and are tasked with administering an estate, an estate lawyer at Driessen De Rudder can guide you through the process to ensure it is finished as seamlessly as possible.

What Legal Issues Can Arise During the Estate Administration Process?

During the estate administration process, various legal issues can arise, often requiring the expertise of estate planning attorneys, probate lawyers, or trust and estate counsel. Here are some common challenges:

1. Validity of the Will: Questions may arise about the validity of the estate plan, especially if the will was updated shortly before the decedent’s death or under questionable circumstances. Probate attorneys often handle disputes in probate court regarding the legitimacy of estate planning documents.

2. Probate Litigation: Conflicts among beneficiaries or between beneficiaries and the executor can lead to probate litigation. This includes disputes over asset distribution, interpretation of the will, or the execution of other estate planning documents.

3. Management of Estate Assets: Mismanagement or disagreements about the handling of estate assets is a common issue. Estate administration attorneys play a vital role in guiding executors through the legal responsibilities of asset management.

4. Probate Law Compliance: Navigating probate law and ensuring all legal requirements are met is crucial. A probate lawyer or estate counsel can provide invaluable guidance, particularly when dealing with large or complicated estates.

5. Challenges to Trusts: Trusts in a will can also be contested. Estate counsel can help in addressing challenges to the terms or administration of a trust.

6. Debt Settlement: The estate attorney assists in identifying and settling the decedent’s outstanding debts, a process that can be complex, and provide advice if there are more liabilities than assets.

7. Handling of Real Estate: Issues may arise in transferring or selling real estate, requiring the expertise of an estate attorney who understands real estate to navigate the legal intricacies.

A law firm that deals with estate planning and probate law can provide crucial support in resolving these issues, ensuring a smooth estate administration process and compliance with all legal requirements.

Difference Between Estate Planning and Estate Administration

Estate planning and estate administration are two distinct areas of law, though they often intersect. Estate planning involves proactively preparing for the distribution of an individual’s assets upon their death.

An estate planning lawyer works with living clients to draft wills, trusts, personal directives (health care), enduring powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents to ensure that their wishes are carried out and that their family members are provided for. This process often involves tax planning, considering assets like investment accounts, and setting up provisions for minor children.

Estate administration, often overseen by a probate lawyer, is the process that occurs after an individual’s death. It involves gathering the deceased’s assets, paying off debts, and distributing the remaining assets as per the decedent’s will or, if no will exists, according to provincial intestacy laws. Estate administration can sometimes lead to probate litigation, especially in cases of disputed wills or claims of undue influence.

How Does an Estate Administration Lawyer Handle Debts and Claims Against the Estate?

An estate administration lawyer plays a crucial role in addressing debts and claims against the estate. Upon the death of an individual, the estate lawyer will publish a notice to creditors and claimants.

The probate lawyer then reviews these claims and pays valid debts using estate assets. If the estate lacks sufficient funds, certain assets may be liquidated. It’s essential to handle debts correctly, as mishandling can lead to estate litigation, or costs to be born directly by the executor.

Key Documents Required By an Estate Administration Lawyer

To initiate the estate administration process, an estate lawyer typically requires several documents. These include the original will (if one exists), death certificates, titles for real estate, bank account details, corporate minute books, information on other assets like investment accounts, and details of debts and liabilities.

Additionally, any trust and estate counsel documents, as well as prior tax returns, can be beneficial. An experienced attorney will review these documents, ensuring that all legal matters are addressed appropriately and that the estate is administered in the best interest of all involved parties.

Comprehensive Guidance For Settling An Estate

We draw on years of experience practicing estate law in Barrhead and the surrounding areas. We know what steps to follow and how to carry them out as efficiently and expediently as possible. We help our clients assess which documents need to be gathered and the best way to fulfill the tasks and responsibilities in closing an estate. We are able to provide assistance across the province by way of telephone calls and electronic documentation.

Wherever possible, we encourage and guide clients in carrying out administrative tasks. This way, we can work together with you to maximize our service while minimizing your legal fees. Whether you require limited advice or prefer to hand over the responsibility to us completely, we can make the estate administration process as smooth as possible for you.

We provide legal advice on the full range of matters involved in estate administration, including:

  • Responsibilities of an executor
  • · Responsibilities of a trustee
  • · Publication of death notifications
  • · Probating a will
  • · Grant of administration for intestacy
  • · Land transfers
  • · Paying estate debts
  • · Locating beneficiaries
  • · Distributing assets
  • · Beneficiary Agreements
  • · Inter-jurisdiction estates


Call Us For Assistance With The Estate Administration Process


Our lawyers are ready to help you through the estate administration process. We can simplify and streamline the process and provide you with the guidance you need to eventually close the estate. Call us at 587-847-5410 or use our online email form to discuss your needs. We are able to provide assistance no matter where you are located across the province.

Driessen De Rudder
Law Office

5017-50 Avenue, Box 4220,
Barrhead, AB T7N 1A2

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Driessen De Rudder Law Office is a full-service law firm serving Barrhead, Alberta and surrounding towns.