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What is the Saskatchewan Probate Timeline?

To start, the executor of the estate must apply for probate. Once the court approves a grant of probate, the probate process begins.

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When an individual dies in Saskatchewan, the probate court uses their will to distribute their assets accordingly. Assets with direct beneficiaries, like life insurance policies, usually skip the probate process. However, anything that doesn’t name direct beneficiaries has to go through probate.

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What is the probate process like in Saskatchewan?

  1. The executor of the estate must apply for probate. Once the court approves a grant of probate, the probate process begins.
  2. The executor must submit the will to the probate court. Once the will is validated and the executor is authorized to carry out their duties, they must find the decedent's assets and determine their value so they can determine the value of the estate. They'll notify people about the individual's death, then find the names and contact information of everyone listed in the will. They'll also notify the Public Trustee if the individual has any dependents entitled to part of the estate.
  3. Next, the executor needs to file taxes and pay the necessary probate fees. The estate holder still has to file a tax return after they pass away, and it's the executor's job to file taxes on their behalf. They'll also have to pay any outstanding debt. Typically, the executor uses funds from the estate to pay these fees.
  4. If the estate has outstanding debts, the executor notifies the creditors and tells them that they have to respond by a certain date. Any creditors who don't respond within the time frame have no claim over the estate. This can prevent creditors from taking legal action later.
  5. After paying probate fees, debts, and taxes - the executor can then begin to distribute the estate as directed by the valid will.

How long does probate take in Saskatchewan?

According to the courts of Saskatchewan - In most cases the average probate process will take about 1 year.

However, each estate has unique situations and not all estates are subject to the 1 year timeline.

Here are some situations that can influence a shorter probate process:

- If the will is straightforward and there are no disputes among the heirs, the probate process can move along quickly.

- If the executor is organized and prepared, they can speed up the process by gathering all of the necessary documents and records promptly.

- If there are no debts or taxes owed by the estate, that will also speed up the process.

- If there is a living trust in place, the probate process may not be necessary at all.

Situations that can influence a longer probate process

- If there is a dispute among the heirs, the probate process can become very complicated and drawn out.

- If the estate is large, it may take longer for the executor to gather all of the assets and pay off any debts.

- If the estate includes property or assets in other provinces or countries, it may be necessary to hire a lawyer to help with the probate process.

- If the deceased was receiving government benefits (e.g. Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan), the estate may have to go through a separate process to claim those benefits.

- If the estate includes a business, there may be additional complications in winding it down.

How Can ClearEstate Help You?

The probate process can be long and confusing - but it doesn't have to be. You can reach out to us for a free consultation where we will answer any questions you may have for us, for free. Contact us today.

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