In most circumstances, a grant of probate (or administration) from the Supreme Court of British Columbia will be required to distribute your estate. The Probate Fee Act of British Columbia requires the payment of a “probate fee” if the value of the estate exceeds $25,000. In this article we will provide a brief introduction to probate fees.
The amount of the probate fee is calculated as follows: 0.6% of each $1,000 making up the gross value of the estate in excess of $25,000 up to $50,000 plus 1.4% of each $1,000 making up the gross value of the estate over $50,000. Therefore, approximately $1,400 is payable for every $100,000 of gross estate assets in excess of the first $50,000.
Probate fees must be paid before the Supreme Court of British Columbia will release the grant of probate (or administration). Probate fees are payable to the Minister of Finance of British Columbia. Generally speaking, probate fees are paid by the executor personally or using funds from the deceased person’s bank account (if the financial institution permits the executor to access the funds prior to obtaining a grant of probate). In the event that the executor pays the probate fees personally, he or she is entitled to reimburse himself or herself in full from the proceeds of the estate before distributing the estate to the ultimate beneficiaries.
There is no maximum cap on probate fees in British Columbia. This means that the higher the value of the estate, the higher the probate fee will be. The “value of the estate” means the gross value, as disclosed on the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Distribution submitted to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, of physical and intangible property that passes to the deceased person’s personal representative at the date of death. Alberta, on the other hand, has a cap of $525 per estate.
If a grant of probate or administration is not required, no probate fees will be payable.
There are legitimate methods to avoid (or minimize) probate fees in certain circumstances. If you are interested in learning more about probate fees or how to structure your estate plan to avoid or minimize probate fees, please feel free to contact one of our lawyers practicing in the area of estate planning and estate administration.
Author: Danielle (Dani) Brito
This information is general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer before acting on any of this information. This information should not be considered as legal advice. To learn more about your legal needs, please contact our office at (250)448-2637 or any of our lawyers practicing in the area of estate planning and estate administration at the following:Jennette Vopicka: firstname.lastname@example.org Danielle (Dani) Brito: email@example.com Jane Otterstrom: firstname.lastname@example.org