The Probate and Estate Administration Process: How to Prepare Your Listing of Estate Assets and Liabilities
Probate is the legal process in which a deceased’s will is reviewed by a court of law to determine whether it is valid and authentic. It is also related to the general administration of a deceased’s estate. Estate Administration refers to the legal process of administering and distributing a person’s property and estate when they pass away.
When you attend to our office to begin the probate and estate administration procedures, one of the first things you will be asked is to provide a list of the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate, including descriptions and approximate values. The details about the estate’s assets and liabilities will be used to prepare the probate application documents. The value of the assets and liabilities will also be used to determine the applicable probate fees.
Upon approval of the probate application, you will be required to pay a probate filing fee to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. This fee is made up of a $200 charge to start the Court proceeding, plus $6 for every $1,000 or part of $1,000 of the gross value of the estate assets in excess of $25,000 up to $50,000, plus $14 for every $1,000 or part of $1,000 of the gross value of the estate assets in excess of $50,000, that were located in British Columbia when deceased died.
The tasks noted below include a series of suggestions and steps to better assist you in preparing your list of the estate assets and liabilities. Please not that while these suggestions apply to many estates, they may not all apply to the specific estate that you are administering.
(1) Arrange with the deceased’s bank to view and list the contents of the safety deposit box.
(2) Record all the expenses you incur in doing your job as executor, including funeral expenses.
(3) List all the banks where the deceased had accounts or loans. Include the account numbers. Collect any bank books or statements of account, and have them posted up to the date of death. Note that accounts may include term deposits, Registered Retirement Savings Plans, and Registered Retirement Income Funds.
(4) List all securities, stocks, or bonds owned by the deceased.
(5) List all real estate which the deceased owned alone or with others. Also list any mortgages or agreements for sale that the deceased held or owed. Provide the full addresses of all properties.
(6) List all estate income that will be received after the date of death. This may include cheques that have not been received or deposited from pensions, deferred profit-sharing plans, dividends, interest, salary, or any repayments or refunds due to the deceased.
(7) List any business assets or shares in a company owned by the deceased. Obtain appropriate valuations.
(8) Identify all people and businesses who owed money to the deceased. Provide any details you can of the nature of the debt and the amount owing.
(9) List any other assets, including cars, boats, household goods, jewelry, cameras, and other personal effects. Provide descriptions including serial numbers, if possible. Include estimated values.
(10) List all outstanding debts and liabilities of the deceased.
(11) List any agreements or court orders to which the deceased was a party, or under which the deceased was liable. This might include divorce decrees, maintenance orders, marriage agreements, Family Relations Act orders, guarantees, buy-sell agreements, partnership agreements, leases, employment contracts, and insurance owned by the deceased on the life of another.
Author: Sasha Platz
If you are interested in learning more about the probate and administration process, please feel free to contact one of our lawyers practicing in the area of estate planning and estate administration.