Step 1. Notify others that you intend to apply
“Mom died without a will. She and Dad divorced a while ago and she never found another partner. She had three kids, including me. When I applied for administration, I was confused about whether to give notice to my auntie Celia, mom’s sister. My lawyer explained that only me and my siblings were entitled to the estate under the law. So I didn’t have to send Aunt Celia notice.”
– Dion, Pender Island
You must notify certain people that you intend to apply for a grant of administration. To do so, complete the court form P1, notice of proposed application.
If the deceased left a will
Together with a copy of the will, mail or deliver the completed form P1 to:
- each person named in the will as executor or alternate executor,
- each beneficiary named in the will,
- the deceased’s spouse and children (because they’re entitled to challenge the will), and
- each person who would be entitled to a share in the estate if there had been no will
If the deceased didn’t have a will
Mail or deliver the completed form P1 to:
- each person who’s entitled to a share in the estate (or would have been if the spouse hadn’t received a share), and
- if the deceased left debts behind, each creditor whose claim exceeds $10,000.
For all applications
Whether or not the deceased had a will, you must also deliver notice to:
- anyone who’s served a citation to you in form P32,
- if the deceased was a Nisga'a citizen, the Nisga'a Lisims government,
- if the deceased was a member of a treaty first nation, the treaty first nation, and
- the Public Guardian and Trustee, if any of the people you need to notify is a minor or mentally incapable adult.
You must deliver this notice at least 21 days before submitting the application to court. This gives people the chance to dispute your application.
Step 2. Prepare the application
You must file paperwork with a probate registry. Find a Supreme Court registry close to you. A typical administration application will include these documents:
- A submission for estate grant in form P2. This form gives details about your application for administration.
- An affidavit of the applicant. This form identifies you and your relationship to the deceased. If there’s a will, use form P3 or P4. If there’s no will, use form P5. If you’re using form P5, you must swear that you made a diligent search for the will. The law requires you to search in all places that could reasonably be considered a place where a testamentary document may be found.
- Affidavits of delivery, in form P9. Together, these confirm that notice of the application was delivered to everyone required.
- An affidavit of assets and liabilities in form P10 or P11. This form sets out all the deceased’s assets and liabilities that pass to you as administrator.
- If there is one, the originally signed version of the will, or if the original does not exist, a copy of the will. You’ll also need to file evidence that supports that it’s a copy of the valid will. The court may or may not accept the copy.
- Two copies of a certificate of wills search, and any accompanying wills searches. You can get these by doing a search of the Wills Registry.
Additional documents may be required. Examples include forms to deal with issues relating to the will, dispensing with notice, an executor renouncing their executorship, and other unusual applications.
Completing the forms
If there’s nothing to list under one of the headings on a form, write “nil” or “none.” Blank spaces may suggest that information is missing. This is one of the main reasons forms are rejected.
Our information on filling out probate forms walks you through some common questions asked about the standard probate forms. Most of the forms are also used in applications for a grant of administration. We also give you tips for making a successful application.
Step 3. File the administration application
File the application in a probate registry of the Supreme Court of BC. You’ll also have to pay a court filing fee. The fee is currently $200. If the estate has a value of less than $25,000, you don’t have to pay this fee.
To find the closest probate registry, contact Enquiry BC:
Lower Mainland: 604-660-2421
Step 4. Pay any probate fees
Once the application is reviewed, the probate registry will assess the probate fees you need to pay. These must be paid before the court will issue you a grant of administration.
The probate fees are based on the gross value of estate assets that were located in British Columbia when the deceased died. If the deceased was ordinarily resident in British Columbia immediately before they died, you’ll also need to pay probate fees on intangible (non-physical) assets located outside of the province, such as bank accounts or investments.
If the estate assets have a value over $25,000, fees are payable on the following basis.
$0 to $25,000
$25,000 to $50,000
$6 for every $1,000 (or part of $1,000)
$50,000 or more
$14 for every $1,000 (or part of $1,000)
For example, if the gross value of the estate assets is $125,000, the probate fees will be $1,200:
$6 x 25 (for every $1,000 between $25,000 to $50,000) = $150
$14 x 75 (for every $1,000 between $50,000 to $125,000) = $1,050
These probate fees are in addition to the court filing fee of $200.
Step 5. Proceed with administering the estate
Once a grant of administration is issued, you can proceed with the remaining steps in administering the estate.