What is Probate?
Probate is the process of getting your will approved by the courts. This process validates your will and allows your executors to distribute your assets. However, probate can often be an expensive and long process. Each province has probate fees which can end up being quite substantial on a big estate.
Probate can also cause serious delays in the distribution of assets from the will because once a will is probated it becomes public record. This means that it can be contested and potentially delayed while the courts settle any disputes.
The good news is that with proper planning, it is possible to minimize or even eliminate the number of assets that have to go through probate. Probate costs can be minimized with proper planning and guidance from a professional.
It is important to note that on registered investments and segregated funds without a named beneficiary, the assets automatically go to the estate. This means they would be subject to probate. It is a good idea to review your beneficiary designations regularly to make sure they are up to date.