Estate Administration Misconceptions

The Executor can implement the will right away.

No! The Executor is not the official legal representative of the Deceased until the Court has confirmed the will and issued Letters Probate to the Executor.

Probate takes about a month or two.

Well, sort of… Before an application for probate can even be submitted to the Court, the Executor must search for other wills, confirm all assets and liabilities, then notify all potential beneficiaries of your passing and provide them with a copy of your will. After submitting the application, processing times at the Court Registry often take about a month or two, or more.

But then… Following receipt of Letters Probate, your affairs must be settled (debts paid, assets sold, tax filings submitted to government) and a proposed distribution must be approved by your beneficiaries or confirmed by Court Order. Distribution of assets commonly takes place a year or more following death.

Probate is too much work, it is better to die without a will.

Just the opposite! Dying intestate (without a will) does not avoid probate, it merely adds a layer of administrative work to the process. Before an intestate’s estate may be probated, a legal representative (Administrator) must be selected and approved and the Administration may be required to deposit a sizeable financial bond with the courts. All other steps remain and must be completed after the appointment of this Administrator. The Administrator must then distribute assets in accordance with legislation rather than your personal wishes.