When a person dies leaving a Last Will and Testament naming an executor, the executor would make application to the court for Letters Probate.
When a person dies leaving a Last Will and Testament, but does not name an executor, or when the executor cannot or will not act, the priority of the persons entitled to apply for Letters of Administration with Will Annexed for the estate are listed in section 10 of The Administration of Estates Act in priority order:
- residuary beneficiaries (receive what is left of the estate after other property is distributed) in trust;
- residuary beneficiaries for life;
- ultimate residuary beneficiaries or, where the residue is not wholly disposed of, persons entitled on an intestacy;
- personal representatives of ultimate residuary beneficiaries or persons entitled on an intestacy;
- beneficiaries and creditors;
- contingent residuary beneficiaries, contingent beneficiaries and persons having no interest in the estate who would have been entitled to a grant if the deceased had died wholly intestate; and
- the official administrator.
Letters Probate or Letters of Administration with Will Annexed may not be required to deal with assets that are not part of the estate (Part II Assets) such as property jointly owned with the deceased at date of death, assets with a named beneficiary, or assets outside Saskatchewan.
Letters Probate or Letters of Administration with Will Annexed may not be required if the value of the estate is $25,000 or less, and does not include real property. See 'Estates Not Exceeding $25,000.'
Letters Probate or Letters of Administration with Will Annexed will be required if the estate assets include real estate in order to conduct any land transactions with Information Service Corporation.
To obtain Letters Probate, the executor will need to complete the following forms:
To obtain Letters of Administration with Will Annexed, the administrator will need to complete the following forms:
If there are entitled beneficiaries that are under the age of 18 or a dependent adult (persons who are not capable of managing their own affairs), then the executor or administrator must also include two copies of Notice to Public Guardian and Trustee – Form 16-12.
A Renunciation of Administration – Form 16-26 would typically be required from all persons with a prior or equal right to apply. If the will names an executor, the executor would need to renounce his or her right to probate by completing a Renunciation of Probate – Form 16-16.
The completed forms are filed with the Court of Queen's Bench together with the court fees. The court fees for an application for Grant of Letters Probate is $7.00 per $1,000.00 (or portion thereof) of the total Part 1 Assets listed in the Statement of Property form.
If the estate contains real property and no named beneficiary is under the age of 18 or a dependent adult, then a 'Local Registrar's Certificate of No Infants Interested' should be requested from the Court of Queen's Bench for a fee of $25. This must be requested at the time of filing the application for the Grant of Letters Probate.
If the certificate is not requested from the Court of Queen's Bench at the time of the application for Letters Probate you can request a Certificate of No Infants from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. You must provide the office with a notarized copy of Letters Probate or Letters of Administration and an affidavit from the executor or administrator that will establish that there are no minors or dependent adults interested in the estate.
All of the above applies even in the case of a valid handwritten will.
An Administration Bond – Form 16-31 may be required to assure that duties are conducted according to the provisions of the will.
Where two or more persons are granted letters probate or letters of administration with respect to an estate and one of the persons dies, the powers granted vest in the survivors.
If one executor obtains Letters Probate and dies prior to completing the estate administration, then the Court of Queen's Bench will consider the appointment of an administrator to complete the estate administration. This person will be required to obtain Letters of Administration De Bonis Non from the Court of Queen's Bench. The Court of Queen's Bench may require the applicant to post an Administration Bond prior to the Court of Queen's Bench granting the Letters of Administration De Bonis Non.
To obtain Letters Administration De Bonis Non, the administrator will need to provide the original Grant of Letters Probate and complete the following forms:
Requesting a Copy of a Last Will and Testament
If you are a beneficiary of an estate, you should ask the executor/administrator for a copy of the will. Your request should be in writing and you should keep a copy of your request for your records.
If the executor/administrator does not respond to your request, you may contact Wills and Estates at the Court of Queen's Bench in Regina at (306) 787-5223, and request a copy of the original will, a list of the beneficiaries or other persons who may have an interest in the estate, and a list of the assets of the deceased. You should inquire about any associated fees.
If the executor/administrator will not respond to your request, and if the Court of Queen's Bench does not have a copy of the Will, you may need to consult a lawyer who can make a court application to order the production of the Will. The court application process is not free; you will have to pay the lawyer to assist you. Different lawyers will charge different fees and you should ask about fees in advance. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may qualify for assistance from Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan.