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Probate Fees in Nova Scotia

Discover Nova Scotia's Probate Tax: Rates Up to 1.6% on Estates. Get a Full Breakdown on Fees, Payment Times, and Who Pays. Read on to learn more.

Probate fees in Nova Scotia

Key Takeaways

  • Probate fees in Nova Scotia are levied on assets in wills or intestacy, calculated from the estate's total value.
  • The estate's value includes personal property's gross value and Nova Scotia land's net value.
  • Fees are $85.60 for estates under $10,000, and for those over $100,000, it's a base of $1002.65 plus $16.95 for every $1,000 exceeding $100,000.
  • The estate's personal representative pays the probate fees during the grant of probate or administration application.
  • Final fees are adjusted based on the actual estate value after inventory filing, leading to potential extra fees or refunds.

Governed by Section 87(2) of the Nova Scotia Probate Act, probate fees are levied on estates to cover the costs associated with the legal validation of a will and the administration of the estate.

In Nova Scotia, these fees are applied through a tiered structure and apply to all assets passing through a will, a trust under a will, or intestacy (when there is no will)

Here is the detailed breakdown of the probate fee:

Breakdown of the Probate Fee Structure in Nova Scotia

Probate fees in Nova Scotia follow a tiered payment structure outlined in Section 87(2) of the Probate Act, and is as follows:

  • For estates not exceeding $10,000: a fee of $85.60.
  • For estates between $10,000 and $25,000: a fee of $215.20.
  • For estates between $25,000 and $50,000: a fee of $358.15.
  • For estates between $50,000 and $100,000: a fee of $1,002.65.
  • For estates exceeding $100,000: a base fee of $1,002.65, plus an additional $16.95 for every $1,000 (or portion thereof) exceeding $100,000

Calculating the Estate Value for Probate in Nova Scotia

According to the Government of Nova Scotia, the estate value is the sum of the gross value of personal property and the net value of land located in Nova Scotia. Let's break down this calculation process in detail.

Calculating The Value Of Real Property (Land)

The first step involves assessing the value of any land owned by the deceased. This could be the fair market value or the most recent tax assessment.

From this value, subtract any mortgages, secured lines of credit, or recorded judgments.

(Fair market value of real property/land - mortgages/secured lines of credit = value of land)

Property title matters: Joint Tenancy and Tenants in Common

Land owned in Joint Tenancy does not form part of the estate, as it transfers to the other owner(s) upon death.

For land held as Tenant in Common, include only the deceased’s share in the valuation, typically divided equally unless specified differently in the deeds.

Calculating The Value Of Personal Property


Gather recent bank statements to find the balance of any accounts. Funds in accounts with a named beneficiary, not passing through the estate, should be excluded.

If exact amounts are unknown, estimate the value, and then update it after being appointed as the personal representative and accessing bank records.

Personal Items:

Estimate the value of personal belongings such as clothing, jewelry, household items, art, furniture, and electronics.

Items jointly owned, particularly with a spouse, should be excluded. A general estimate for personal items, especially if most belongings remain with a surviving spouse, is acceptable.


Include all vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, watercraft, trailers, RVs) in the personal property category.

Overall Estate Valuation

The total estate value is the sum of the gross value of personal property plus the net value of the land.

(Sum of gross value of personal property + net value of land = estate value for probate)

Probate fees may adjust

There may be cases where the actual value of the estate turns out to be different from the initial estimate:

  • If the actual value is higher than the estimate, the personal representative is required to pay an additional tax to cover the difference.
  • This adjustment is made when the inventory, which discloses the actual value of the property, is filed with the registrar.

Nova Scotia Probate fee Calculator

Probate Fees Nova Scotia Calculator
Probate Fees Nova Scotia Calculator

To better help you with your calculations, enter the estate value for probate and we'll provide you with an accurate estimation of the probate fee the estate will face.

Understand Probate fees with ease.

Navigating probate fees in Nova Scotia doesn't have to be a challenging journey. Our article sheds light on how these fees are determined, guiding you through the complexities of estate valuation, including both personal property and real estate within the province.

Whether your estate is modest or substantial, understanding the fee structure is crucial. From the basic fee for smaller estates to the detailed calculations for larger ones, we've covered everything you need to know.

But understanding probate fees is just the first step. The real challenge lies in managing these fees effectively as part of your estate planning. That's where our expertise comes in. With a deep understanding of Nova Scotia's probate process, our team is ready to provide you with tailored advice and strategies to navigate these waters smoothly.

Don't let the details of probate fees add to the stress of estate planning. Book a free consultation with our probate experts today and take the first step towards a hassle-free experience. Let us guide you with the expertise and care your estate deserves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Managing the probate fee is a key responsibility of the estate's personal representative - usually the executor named in the will, or an administrator if there's no will. This person juggles various financial duties for the estate, and ensuring the probate fee is covered is one of them.

The probate fee is paid when probate or administration is granted. The fee is covered from the estate's assets and is crucial for the estate's processing and official validation by the probate court. Aligning this payment with the submission of necessary probate documents, like the estate inventory, is essential.

The probate fees are directed to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for Nova Scotia's benefit. This process integrates estate administration into the broader provincial legal and governance system.

Once this tax is paid, the registrar rolls out several vital services for efficiently managing the estate. These include examining the estate's accounts, validating affidavits, filing key documents, and issuing orders for distributing the estate. It's all about ensuring everything is in order and properly handled.

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