Typically, an application in the Calgary Judicial Centre for probate (will) or administration (no will), can take anywhere from 2 – 4 months for the Grant to be issued after the application is filed. Often times, there is real property in the estate, and it can be listed for sale before the Grant is issued. While the property is listed, the Estate should disclose that that they are awaiting a Grant. Sometimes an unconditional offer will be presented to the Estate, with a proposed closing date occurring before the normal Grant application period is concluded.
Previously, this was dealt with in a couple of ways. One method was to allow the buyers possession on a Tenancy At Will, whereby the buyer pays a kind of “rent” until the Grant is issued and a Transfer can be made. Also, the Court was open to expediting an application where there was a binding offer on the property – by providing the Court a letter and a copy of the Contract, the Court was often willing to expedite the application, so that the Grant could be issued before the Closing Date.
The latter method became so prevalent that the Court issued a Memo to the profession: “Requests for expedited processing amount to 20% and 25% of all applications . . . they interrupt the orderly processing of applications to the detriment of applicants whose matters were in the queue. They promote inefficient use of Court resources. It is proposed that all such applications proceed as applications for limited grants. Requests for limited grants will be given priority and will enable applicants to deal with real property interests more expeditiously”.
The process for applying for a Limited Grant is set out in the section 14 of Estate Administration Act and section 13 of the Surrogate Rules. No initial fee is required – when the property is sold and the sale proceeds received, the limited grant is surrendered and the full Grant is applied for. Only a few extra documents would have to be created beyond those submitted for the Limited Grant.
In these situations where the Estate will be selling real property, the Estate should encourage Closing Dates beyond the normal application period for a full Grant, or negotiate a Tenancy, or apply for a Limited Grant.
Please contact us if you have any questions.