When an executor applies for a grant of probate, one of the first steps is to provide notice of the application for the grant of probate to certain people consistent with the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA). The Supreme Court Civil Rules sets out who notice must be given to; this includes other executors or intended executors, beneficiaries under the will, and intestate successors (people who would have been entitled to receive all or part of the estate, had there been no will).
Intestate successors are entitled to receive notice even when there is a will because there may be a reason that the will is invalid. Should this be the case, the deceased could be considered to have died without a will and the intestate successor would benefit. Additionally, an intestate successor may not be named in the will but have standing to make a claim to vary the will under WESA, thus, knowledge of the probate application is necessary.
Notice is provided either by mail or electronically. If notice is provided electronically (by email), the person who receives the notice must acknowledge receipt. Because of that, we typically recommend providing notice by mail (if possible), as there is no receipt confirmation requirement.
Once notice is provided, the applicant is required to wait 21 days before submitting the application for probate. This is to give anyone to whom notice was provided an opportunity to oppose the application by filing a Notice of Dispute.
If a minor is required to be provided with notice, delivery will be made to their parents or to the parent or guardian who has the responsibility of making financial decisions relating to the minor. If the minor doesn’t live with both parents together, notice should be delivered to each of the addresses where the minor lives.
If you cannot find someone who is entitled to notice, you can apply to the court to dispense of the notice requirement, but you will need to show what steps you took to locate them and show that it was otherwise impractical or impossible to find them.
Author: Jane Otterstrom
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 wills and estates at the following:
Jane Otterstrom: firstname.lastname@example.org