How long does an executor have to settle an estate in Alberta?

Aside from the grief brought on by losing a close friend or family member, dealing with the responsibilities of being an executor can be quite strenuous.

Posted on November 1, 2021 by ClearEstate
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You may have recently lost someone close to you and have now discovered that you’ve been nominated as their estate executor. Aside from the grief brought on by losing a close friend or family member, dealing with the responsibilities of being an executor can be quite strenuous.

An executor will have to submit the deceased’s will and apply for probate at the Alberta probate court, contact all beneficiaries, create an inventory of an estate’s assets and calculate their total value, settle any outstanding debts and tax payments, and more.

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Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, the probate process—meaning the time it takes for an executor to legally settle an estate—can take a couple of months for simpler, smaller estates. But larger, more complicated estates can take up to a year or longer.

There is no fixed legal timeline by which an executor needs to complete their duties in Alberta. However, they are required to distribute the estate as soon as possible, and since probate generally takes up to a year, the rule of thumb is that executors generally have up to a year to complete their responsibilities. However, there can be some obstacles: The Canada Revenue Agency, for example, can demand a Clearance Certificate before the assets of the estate can be distributed, which can cause further delays since obtaining this certificate can take several months to over a year.