After substantial research and consultation, the Alberta Legislature put in force the new Estate Administration Act (EAA) on June 1, 2015. The goals of the EAA are to clearly define the role of the Personal Representative (PR), and to reduce the delay and cost experienced by PRs and beneficiaries.
The core tasks of the PR (whether or not a grant of probate or administration is required) includes under section 7:
- Identifying the estate assets and liabilities
- Administering and managing the estate
- Satisfying the debts and obligations of the estate
- Distributing and accounting for the administration of the estate
The PR must carry out their role in the “best interests of the estate” (section 5(1)), and distribute the estate “as soon as practicable” (section 5(1)(b)). The PR must create and maintain records and communicate regularly with the beneficiaries.
If a PR fails to perform a core duty, an application can be made to the Court (section 8), and the applicant need not be merely an “interested person” as formerly required. The Court could order the PR to perform the duty, impose conditions on the PR, remove the PR, or make other appropriate orders.
A PR must provide Notices even when a grant is not required (section 10). The suggested form is NGA1.
Section 20 now gives the PR wide powers to stand in the shoes of the deceased person and have all the same powers as the deceased person over the property, as is consistent with the Will and other enactments.