Serving as an Estate’s Executor, or Personal Representative, isn’t always an easy task. In order to avoid the stress, inconvenience, and hassle that may come with acting as an Estate’s Executor, it’s essential that you take a team approach to Estate administration. A key aspect of the team approach to Estate administration is hiring a probate lawyer who’s the right fit for you.
The probate lawyers at West Legal strive to offer affordable, prompt, and informative legal advice and services to Estate Executors. We believe in open communication and fairness with our clients, and we offer friendly, knowledgeable service throughout the Estate administration process. We also pride ourselves on making the probate process convenient for Estate Executors.
Here are 10 ways that we’re able to make the probate process easier for you:
1. House Calls at No Additional Cost
Let us come to you! If you’re an Estate Executor, chances are that you’re busy. Regardless of where you live in the city, our probate lawyers are willing to meet with you in your home or at another meeting place, if you’re too busy or unable to attend our office. We’re also willing to work with your schedule. If you work during the day, we’re able to accommodate evening appointments that will fit with your schedule.
2. Flat-Rate Legal Fees
We bill our probate clients on a flat-rate fee basis. This means you won’t encounter any hidden costs or legal fees when you hire us to complete your probate application. We’re upfront about our fees, and any disbursements that we anticipate incurring, from the outset. This allows you to plan accordingly and gives you certainty about our fee structure.
3. We Connect You with Other Valuable Resources
As an Estate Executor, you’ll likely require the services of other professionals throughout the Estate administration process. We work closely with financial planners, realtors, real estate lawyers, tax accountants, and other professionals whose assistance you may need while administering the deceased’s Estate. We’re able to connect you with trusted professionals in our network who can help you administer the deceased’s Estate more effectively.
4. Prompt Legal Services
Our probate lawyers are usually able to meet with you within one week of your reaching out to us. Once you’ve provided us with all necessary documentation and information, we’ll have your probate application drafted within two weeks, unless there are extenuating circumstances. We also strive to be prompt in our communication with clients. In most cases, we respond to client telephone calls and emails within 48 hours of receiving them.
5. Free Consultations to Estate Executors
Lawyers’ hourly rates can be steep—$300-$600/hour isn’t uncommon for a Calgary probate lawyer. That’s why our probate lawyers offer 1-hour, free-of-charge, no-obligation consultations to Estate Executors. You’re able to meet with one of our probate lawyers and obtain valuable information at no cost, before having to decide how you’ll proceed with the Estate administration process.
6. Honest Assessment of Whether Probate is Actually Necessary
While most Estates require an Executor to obtain either a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Administration, not every Estate requires probate. Our probate lawyers will give you an honest assessment of whether probate is required in your circumstances. Even though we may ‘lose out’ on legal fees if you don’t retain our services, we sleep better at night knowing that you’re able to administer the deceased’s Estate in the most cost-effective manner possible.
7. Assistance with Other Aspects of the Estate Administration Process
Certain aspects of the Estate administration process are considered ‘Executor responsibilities’, and don’t necessarily require the assistance of a probate lawyer. However, in some cases, we’re able to open a separate file and assist you with other aspects of Estate administration that aren’t covered by the typical probate application process.
8. No Minor Operational Disbursements Charges
When choosing a law firm to handle your probate matter, ask for a rough estimate of the disbursements you’ll be expected to pay for. Disbursements are out-of-pocket expenses that a law firm incurs while handling your file. While we do, like most other law firms, charge clients for disbursements on probate files, we are mindful of our clients’ expenses. We don’t charge you for disbursements like ‘photocopying’, ‘faxing documents’, or a ‘file administration’ fee. Additionally, we avoid charging a ‘mark-up’ on our disbursements. If it costs us $10.00 to do a Land Titles search for you, we won’t make it a $25.00 disbursement to account for our time. You’ll simply pay the $10.00 expense that we’re out-of-pocket for.
9. We Save You Time
Applying for probate and administering a deceased’s Estate takes time. While certain aspects of the probate timeline are out of our control, we work hard to complete your file in a timely manner. We hire couriers who deliver court documents and Land Titles documents daily so that you’re not stuck having to go downtown and deal with filing court documents or Land Titles paperwork.
10. We Provide Certified True Copies of Your Grant of Probate at No Additional Cost
In order to administer the deceased’s Estate, you’ll need to provide a Grant of Probate to various financial institutions and governmental departments. Typically, banks and government offices will require either an original or a certified true copy of an original, Grant of Probate. However, the Alberta Surrogate Court typically only issues one original Grant, so the probate lawyers at West Legal provide you with several notarized, certified true copies of the original Grant at no extra cost, shortly after the Grant is issued.