The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently held that a financial institution may require an executor to obtain a grant of probate before the bank hands over estate property to the executor (In the Matter of the Estate of Peter Thomas John Collins (March 17, 2016), Vernon No. P51426 (BCSC)).

The executor brought an application to compel Scotiabank to release estate funds prior to obtaining a grant of probate. Scotiabank took the position that it was entitled to the protection of a grant of probate before releasing the funds. The Court affirmed prior case law, which states that a disinterested third party to an estate action may require the executor to prove its authority through letters probate before delivering estate assets to the executor. The executor's application was dismissed with costs payable to Scotiabank.