British Columbia Probate & Estate Administration Practice Manual

Practice Point

Manage your probate and estate matters with confidence

This publication is essential for: practitioners who do estate administration or estate litigation work.

If you work in estate administration, you know there is a high potential for error. Reduce the risk with British Columbia Probate & Estate Practice Manual, which takes you step-by step through handling probate and estate matters in BC. This longstanding manual is the answer to all your probate and estate administration questions, from initial contact with a personal representative to post-grant issues. This manual also covers difficult tax and conflict of laws issues, as well as potential areas for estate litigation.

With this resource, you will be able to:

  • confidently advise personal representatives on how to successfully administer an estate
  • prepare for and make probate and estate administration applications
  • better avoid and handle contentious areas during the estate administration process

Highlights of the 2022 Update include:

  • all chapters, forms and precedents, checklists, and other features of the manual have been brought current to February 15, 2022
  • extensive coverage of recent amendments to the Supreme Court Civil Rules, probate forms, and the Wills, Estates and Succession Act
  • new sections covering, among other topics:
    • the new requirements for transparency declarations and reports under the Land Owner Transparency Act
    • amendment and withdrawal of applications for administration
    • common law rules relating to extrinsic evidence for construction applications
    • transmission and transfer of property on certain First Nations lands
    • secret trusts
  • new and expanded discussion regarding, among other topics:
    • electronic wills (including new provisions permitting electronic witnessing and signing, and the proper procedure for conducting a wills search and revoking electronic wills)
    • the potential application of the Pecore principles to beneficiary designations
    • judicial consideration of “estate contracts”
    • determining the value of the estate and completing disclosure statements for probate
    • circumstances where the Minister of Indigenous Services may assume jurisdiction over the estate of a registered First Nations individual who was not ordinarily resident on reserve

Editorial Board 

Dwight Dee — Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver
Mary B. Hamilton, KC — Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP, Vancouver
Michelle L. Isaak — DLA Piper (Canada) LLP
Genevieve N. Taylor — Legacy Tax & Trust Lawyers, Vancouver
Geoffrey W. White — Geoffrey W. White Law Corporation, Kelowna – Counsel, Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver


Jeffrey Bichard — Scion Law LLP, Vancouver
Catherine Bunio — Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP, Vancouver
Gillian Crouch — Gillian Crouch Law, Vancouver
Dwight Dee — Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver
Andrea E. Frisby — Legacy Tax & Trust Lawyers, Vancouver
Aubrie Girou — Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP, Vancouver
Peter J. Glowacki — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver
Suzanne H. Grant — Swift Datoo Law Corporation, Courtenay
Kay E. Gray — Highbury Enterprises Ltd., Courtney
M. Scott Kerwin — Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Vancouver
Roger D. Lee — DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, Vancouver
Helen H. Low, KC — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Kate S. Marples — KPMG Law LLP, Vancouver
Sharon A. MacMillan — Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver
Peter Mennie — Legacy Tax & Trust Lawyers, Vancouver
James Rhodes — Ramsay Lampman Rhodes, Nanaimo
Isabel L. Romeral — Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP, Vancouver
Rose Shawlee — Harper Grey LLP, Vancouver
Genevieve N. Taylor — Legacy Tax & Trust Lawyers, Vancouver
Ken Vimalesan — Scion Law LLP, Vancouver
Emma Waterman — Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP, Vancouver
Richard T. Weiland — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Mark S. Weintraub, KC with contributions from Amy A. Mortimore, Richard T. Weiland, Rong (Lauren) Liang, Emily Clough, Gordon Behan, Aaron Pearl, Catherine Repel, Michael Scott and Polley Storey — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Geoffrey W. White — Geoffrey W. White Law Corporation, Kelowna – Counsel, Clark Wilson LLP
Susan A. Willis — Indigenous Services Canada, Vancouver


Volume 1

1. Initial Advice for the Personal Representative

2. Devolution of Assets on Death

3. Pre-Application Matters in Estate Grants

4. Proceedings Relating to Estate Grants

5. Applications for Probate and Administration with Will Annexed

6. Applications for Administration without Will Annexed

7. Probate Fees

8. Bringing a Foreign Grant into British Columbia

9. Applications in the Course of Administration

10. Transmission and Transfer of Assets in Estate Administration

11. Liabilities in Estate Administration

12. Resulting Trusts, Unjust Enrichment, and Constructive Trusts

13. Taxation of the Deceased

14. Taxation of Estates and Testamentary Trusts

15. Special Tax Issues in Estate Administration

16. Accounts in Estate Administration

17. Remuneration of Personal Representatives and Trustees

18. Remuneration of Lawyers in Estate Administration

19. Proof in Solemn Form

20. Wills Variation Claims

21. Estates Under the Indian Act

22. Conflict of Laws in Estate Administration

Volume 2

Forms and Precedents


Case Table
Statutes and Related Material Table

“I am an estate and trust litigator. When faced with a new or less than common issue, particularly in administration or planning, my starting point is always CLEBC’s wills, estates, and trusts publications (especially the online versions).

British Columbia Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation along with British Columbia Probate & Estate Administration Practice Manual provide me with current and practical answers, Annotated Estates Practice is an easy way to stay up to date on new cases, and Wills and Personal Planning Precedents embody best practice standards for drafting.

I can’t say enough about how valuable the wills, estates, and trusts resources available through CLEBC truly are.”

Amy Mortimore, Partner, Clark Wilson LLP