A will is basically a legal document that mandates what happens to a person’s assets after he or she dies. But when a person dies without a will, then Alberta’s intestate laws will be applicable to what happens next. A person is an ‘intestate’ if he or she dies without a will. An intestate estate is distributed under Part III of the Wills and Succession Act.
One of the biggest questions beneficiaries or close relatives ask after the testator’s death is “How to get a copy of someone’s will?” In Canada, a number of factors influence who gets to see a person’s will. These factors include the testator’s desire, the relationship of the person to the testator, and the purpose for wanting to see the will. Let’s take a look at a few legalities pertaining to wills in Canada.
What does the Will Contain?
A will contains information on what assets the testator owned and who gets their ownership. It comprises of all the property a person owns at the time of death. The will may state that certain items will be given to different people based on the wishes of the testator. It may include instructions to sell property and to split the property in a certain way or it may allot a certain percentage of a particular asset to one person and the remaining to another.
Who Can See a Testator’s Will?
Individuals who just want to know what is in a will are not entitled to this information. Even if a person is related to the testator, he or she may not have an entitlement to see the will. However, if someone has a legal interest in the will, he or she may be able to see the will or ask the court to intervene. A person may have a reasonable expectation of being a beneficiary because the testator gave him or her a copy of the will or an old will.
How to Get a Copy of a Testator’s Will?
Some people tend to deposit their will at the court registrar for safe keeping. The local court Registrar will notify the Estate Registrar for the Province of Ontario who has a computer record accessible by all courts in Ontario. Until the person who made the Will dies, no one other than the testator can have access to this database. However, after his death, people can search the database at the local court house. After someone dies, the person who is appointed by the Will to manage the estate (the “executor”) normally applies to the court for a certificate of appointment with a will (“probate”).
To probate a will in Alberta, you need to first locate and review the will. The original will is required for an application. If the original is lost, the court may be able to accept a copy if certain conditions are met. The next step is to check if the will is valid, if it is still in force and if it is the last will. The next step is to collect all the information about children and the relevant documents. Once all the documents are in place, you need to see to it that the probate forms are completed.
If you are applying to get a copy of someone’s will, then our legal advisors can help you with the procedure. Connect with us to know more about getting a copy of someone’s will.