Probate is the legal process that proves the validity of a will and accepts it as the last true testament of the deceased.  Probate is often required by banks before they will release assets to the executor or administrator of the estate, depending on how much the estate is worth.

When the deceased has a legally sound will, the executor can submit an application to the courts, with supporting documents, and the probate can be completed in 3-4 months without a lawyer.

With no will the Next of Kin must apply to become Administrator of the Estate, a process that can take many months and is left entirely to the discretion of the courts. Because there is no direction from the deceased about how to split the assets, they will then be distributed based on Alberta estate law.