This page provides some general information about estate administration and probate. This information is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice on any particular facts or circumstances.
Probate establishes the validity of a Will and appoints the personal representative (executor) who will then have authority to act on behalf of the deceased's estate.
Application for Administration Where There is No Will
If there is no valid Will, the deceased is said to have died "intestate". In this case, the rules of intestacy set out in Division 1 of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act would apply. A spouse’s entitlement on an intestacy includes the first $300,000 and half of the remainder of the estate if the deceased and the spouse had descendants who are related. That amount will be reduced to $150,000 and half the remainder of the estate if the deceased’s descendants are from another relationship and not all related.
The person applying to be administrator of the estate must give notice of application to all those with equal or greater entitlement to apply for the position. The applicant may need to obtain a bond as part of the order granting administration of the estate. A bond is like an insurance policy that an executor buys. If he or she defaults on the estate, he or she loses the bond. The bond is for the full value of the estate. In general, there is no need for bonding if all the parties who may be beneficially interested in the estate have consented in writing to dispense with it. Bonds may also be required when there are minor or mentally incapable persons who have an interest in the estate or when all parties do not sign a consent.