Probate is a legal procedure to confirm the validity of a will, and the executor can continue to liquidate the estate and allocate the assets to the beneficiaries. It involves paying a probate fee or estate management tax to the provincial or territorial government.

Some people go to great lengths to avoid probate and may incur other potential costs in the process. While simple steps can be taken to deny probate, others ignore it altogether.

Five of the 13 provinces and territories (Alberta, Quebec, Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut) charge a flat fee for probate or estate management taxes less than $ 1,000. Among the other eight, some have tax exemption or graduation rates, but their percentages range from 0.4% on Price Edward Island to 1.695% on Nova Scotia. In Nova Scotia, a $ 1 million estate has $ 16,258 in probate. Ontario and British Columbia are both High Probate Provinces, with inheritance fees of more than $ 50,000 being 1.5% and 1.4%, respectively.