What is this Remote Probate Program?

Our Remote Probate Program is one of our favourite “access to justice” services we developed especially for clients who love and trust their local BC Notary!

BC Notaries are often asked to help their clients get a Grant of Probate for an estate. Their clients trust them, and want them to help them navigate this process.

BC Notaries can make Wills, and they can help deal with real estate once a Grant of Probate has issued. But they cannot currently help their clients obtain a Grant of Probate, and they can’t give legal advice on the process to get a Grant of Probate.

This means they must send their clients to lawyers for that probate work. But that can be very problematic.

In some places, there are not enough probate lawyers to help with these files.

Sometimes, the law firm “scoops” the client. This means they never return the client back to the BC Notary once the Grant of Probate has issued. This erodes the relationship the client had with their BC Notary, and the BC Notary isn’t then able to finish helping the client convey or sell the deceased’s property.

Not us!

With our Remote Probate Program, we work together with BC Notaries to ensure that they maintain their relationships with their clients. The BC Notary refers the client to us for probate, they act as our agent for taking identification and signing the probate application documents, and when the Grant of Probate has issued, they continue working with the client to finish the ever important conveyancing work.

It’s a tag-team effort.

How does the Remote Probate Program work?

When a client asks their BC Notary to help them with probate, the BC Notary contacts us to get the file started.

We will ask the BC Notary to act as our agent to take the client’s identification. We then:

  • send the client an engagement letter, and authorization forms to allow us to start gathering data
  • speak to the client to gather information about the deceased, their family, beneficiaries, heirs, assets and liabilities
  • prepare the probate application for the client’s review
  • have the client sign the probate affidavits with their local BC Notary
  • submit the paperwork to the probate registry
  • report back to the client when the grant of probate has issued
  • report back to the BC Notary when the grant of probate has issued so they can begin the conveyancing work with the client

What does this cost?

Our fees for a standard probate application are $3,500 plus disbursements and taxes. Unusual probate applications would incur additional fees, based on our hourly rate.

Unusual applications could include situations where:

  • the deceased left a particularly complicated estate
  • the Will leaves gifts to a large number of beneficiaries
  • a Will has gone missing or been defaced or tampered with
  • a family member disputes the Will being submitted for probate, or does not want the client to apply for a Grant of Letters of Administration
  • there are minor beneficiaries, or incapable beneficiaries
  • there are missing heirs or beneficiaries
  • there are potential claims from a spouse or child
  • the terms of the Will are unclear, or require interpretation or direction from the court

We ask our clients for a retainer of $4,000 at the start of every probate file.

If the BC Notary who referred the client to us also chooses to act for us as our agent for purposes of verifying the client’s identity, or taking signatures on the probate affidavits, we pay that BC Notary a set, agreed-upon fee from our fees, so the client isn’t charged twice!

Of course, there will always be the probate fees on top of the legal fees.

Probate fees are calculated based on the value of the deceased’s asset at the date of death. Once the Probate Registry has reviewed and approved the probate application, they will let us know how much those probate fees will be. The client then must get a bank draft payable to the Minister of Finance for those probate fees.

How do I get started?

Whether you are a BC Notary, or a member of the public who would like us to work with your local BC Notary, email info@tnglegal.ca or call us at 250-763-1923, and we’ll get the file started.

If you are looking for a great BC Notary in your area to get this process started, check out the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia’s website.

We look forward to working with BC Notaries and the clients who love them!

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