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My father passed away without a will. Why do I need a grant of administration? - Stephen Hsia

Stephen Hsia

When a person passes away without a will (called “intestacy”), someone may need to apply to the court for a grant of administration without will annexed. If the court approves the person as administrator, the court will issue a document called a grant. The grant gives the person the authority to deal with the estate. 

Under the law in BC, if no will is left by the deceased, certain individuals can apply for a grant in order to handle the estate. If successful, the person named as administrator is legally able to deal with the estate. This includes paying off debts and distributing assets. 

The procedure for applying for a grant is set out in Part 25 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules. Notice of the application must be served on every person who may be entitled to receive a share of the estate — such as spouse(s), children, grandchildren, or other relatives. Notice must be served in court form P1 at least 21 days before the grant application is made.  

To apply for a grant of administration without will annexed, you must file the following documents in any probate registry of the BC Supreme Court:

  • Submission for estate grant, in court form P2. This form gives details about the grant application.
  • Affidavit of the applicant for grant of administration without will annexed, in court form P5. This form identifies you and your relationship to the deceased.
  • Affidavit of delivery, in court form P9. This affidavit confirms that notice of the grant application was delivered to all persons to whom notice must be given.
  • Affidavit of assets and liabilities for domiciled estate grant, in court form P10. This form sets out all the deceased’s assets and liabilities.
  • Certificate of wills notice search. This is obtained by doing a search of the Wills Registry maintained by the provincial government’s Vital Statistics Agency.
  • Cheque for probate filing fees.

If a court form does not open on your computer, try saving the form to your computer and opening it with Adobe Acrobat.

There might be additional documents or forms you need to file, depending on the circumstances. The BC government website has a list of probate forms.