Probate for Small NU Estates

Courthouse for estate probate

In Nunavut, there is no official concept of a "small" estate settlement process, but it is still possible to avoid probate under certain circumstances.

Assets That Bypass Probate

There's no need for probate if the estate consists solely of assets that bypass probate, such as assets held in joint tenancy with a right of survivorship (e.g., a home) assets with named beneficiaries (e.g., RRSPs, life insurance policies), accounts Payable on Death, and other standard probate exclusions.

Custodian Cooperation

Even if there are assets that do not automatically transfer on death, you may be able to avoid probate if the existing asset custodians allow you to take possession of the assets without a probate Grant of Letters. However, if a custodian such as a financial institution requires an official executor appointment, then probate will be required.

Real Property

If the estate contains real property (i.e., real estate) that does not automatically transfer on death, then probate will always be required.


If there are disputes about the will, or debts, you will most likely want to go through probate in any case, for the legal protections and process it provides


The Nunavut Court of Justice in the Nunavut Justice Centre in Iqaluit handles probate and estate administration.

See also these common NU probate forms.

See also General Probate.

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