Estate Administration

We advise trustees, executors and beneficiaries in obtaining certificates of appointment of an estate with a will or without a will, formerly known as probate applications. From advice filing tax returns and advertising for creditors, to the passing of accounts, which generally concludes administering the estate and allows the trustee executor to compensation as provided by law, we guide you to the very end.

Probate

We advise trustees, executors and beneficiaries in obtaining certificates of appointment of an estate with a will or without a will, formerly known as probate applications. From advice filing tax returns and advertising for creditors, to the passing of accounts, which generally concludes administering the estate and allows the trustee executor to compensation as provided by law, we guide you to the very end.

When is Probate Required?

Probate is not always required, and not all executors go through the probate process. However, probate is usually obtained where Court approval is needed to validate the will or the chosen executor because of a dispute about who it should be, where proof of an executor’s authority is required by third parties, and where the estate includes a land transfer, as land registry offices will require probate to transfer title in land.

How Much Will Probate Cost?

Probate costs come out of the estate before any assets are distributed to the beneficiaries.

​The formula for calculating the amount of tax is set out in the Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998, as follows:

  • $5 for each $1,000, or part thereof, of the first $50,000 of the value of the estate, and
  • $15 for each $1,000, or part thereof, of the value of the estate exceeding $50,000, with no upper limit.

​Probate fees can be significantly reduced, and sometimes avoided altogether through proactive and tailored estate planning.

Estate Administration in Ontario

When a person dies, all of their assets and property (ie: their estate) must be organized and distributed under the terms of that person’s will. Where there is no valid will, the estate will be distributed based on the intestacy rules in the Succession Law Reform Act 1990, which lays out a strict hierarchy of who is entitled to what.

Certificate of Appointment of an Estate Trustee with a Will

A will names the individual(s) responsible for overseeing (i.e. administering) the winding up of the testator’s estate. This individual is known as the executor. There can be more than one executor. The named executor(s) must apply to the court for a Certificate of Appointment as Estate Trustee with a Will. Once the court is satisfied that the will is valid, a certificate of appointment of estate trustee with a will is a document issued by the court that proves the authority of the estate trustee to administer the provisions of the deceased's will.

Certificate of Appointment of an Estate Trustee without a Will

Where there is no will, someone (usually the surviving spouse) must be appointed by the court to administer and distribute the estate as executor. If there is no spouse, or if the spouse is unable or unwilling to act in this capacity, another family member can apply to do so. If there are no eligible family members, another person may apply to become executor, for instance a close friend, a lawyer, or the Public Guardian and Trustee. The court will grant a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will, which gives the designated individual the authority to manage and distribute the estate in accordance with applicable intestacy rules.

Executor and Trustee Advisory

An executor is an individual appointed in a will to carry out the stipulations and directions in that document, and a trustee is an individual who has been appointed to hold the property in a trust for the benefit of any beneficiaries of that trust. More often than not, an executor or trustee has never acted in such a capacity and does not necessarily understand the importance of this function, as well as any risks that they face.

An executor owes a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the estate they are administering. An executor must act with integrity and good faith at all times, and make decisions in the best interest of the beneficiaries.

We can help you understand and fulfill your duties and obligations as executor or trustee. In particular, matters we advise on include: Reviewing and interpreting the will, locating and valuating assets, identifying beneficiaries, obtaining probate, dealing with bank accounts, insurance policies, and investments, seeking court approval and advice, where necessary, communicating with beneficiaries, and preparing a statement of account.

Legal Opinions We provide legal opinions on a variety of estate related matters. We can also help obtain probate orders in Israeli courts. We provide legal opinions to Canadian courts on Israeli law, and legal opinions to Israeli courts on Canadian law.

The general information on this page is not applicable to any specific case and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice and may not be relied on as such. Readers are expressly advised to consult with a qualified lawyer for advice regarding their specific circumstances and entitlements under Ontario law.

Contact Charney Legal to discuss your case and obtain legal advice relevant to you.