Can I sell estate property before getting probate?

It can take weeks to receive a Grant of Probate from the Alberta courts, and Executors are usually under pressure from beneficiaries to wrap up the estate quickly.  As a result we often meet Executors who are in a hurry to sell the house or other property in the estate. This is particularly true if the real estate market is in the seller’s favor.

Executors and beneficiaries don’t always want to wait until they’ve received the paperwork from the court and this can be a problem because the Executor does have to wait for the actual court order. The Grant of Probate not just a technicality or insignificant piece of paper. Think about what it actually does…it allows someone to sell a person’s house and look after their money. If a Grant of Probate order wasn’t needed think about what might happen…any of the beneficiaries could sell the estate assets and keep them for themselves.   The Probate Order is proof that the person selling the house, who is not the owner, has the legal right to sell it and accept the money.

An Executor who goes ahead without the Grant of Probate and tries to sell a property will find that the Alberta Land Titles Office or Alberta Registries will not allow this to happen. Land Titles must have a court certified copy of the Probate before they will register a new owner.

This doesn’t mean that the house can’t be listed for sale while the probate documents are being processed through the courts. The Executor who is selling the house just needs to make sure that he or she is clear on the Sales Agreement that the sale is subject to a Grant of Probate order being granted.

Need assistance in obtaining a Grant of Probate and with the sale of a home?  With over 15 years of experience, our team can answer any questions you have and deal with any situation that may arise.  Call our office at  780 458 8228…we are here to help!


Written by Stacy Maurier