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ESTATE ADMINISTRATION (Probate)

Pranzitelli Law > Wills & Estates > ESTATE ADMINISTRATION (Probate)

WHAT IS PROBATE?

 

When an individual passes away with assets in their name, such as a house, bank account, vehicle, securities or other assets, then Probate is required in order to transfer these assets into the hands of the beneficiaries of the estate.  Probating a Will is essentially a a legal process which seeks to confirm the validity of your will and the appointment of your executor or executors.  If you don’t have a Will at the time of your passing, your estate will still need to be probated, however it will a much longer, tedious and expensive process for your estate, as you will first have to have the Court appoint an administrator of your estate.

 

 

Choosing an executor (in your Will) is a very important task, as you will be entrusting this person(s) with administering your estate with the Courts. This executor will also be in charge of ensuring that your debts are paid, probate taxes are paid and all assets are accounted for and distributed eventually.  Now, while it is possible for someone to probate their will without the assistance of a Lawyer, this is not recommended, as there are many details and steps which need to be taken, in order to avoid delays and additional costs.

 

What is the Process and How long does it Take?

 

The process of obtaining Probate, involves the executor and other agents, obtaining all the required documents and asset information and providing that to their Estate Lawyer.  The Estate Lawyer will use these documents to formulate the Estate Court Forms, have them approved by the Executor, serving necessary documents,  and then submitting these documents in conjunction with the Estate Administration Tax (Probate tax) estimate and other corresponding documents.  Once it is approved by the Court, the presiding Judge (or Registrar) will execute a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will (or Without one).  Once this document is received the executor can safely distribute the assets in accordance with the Instructions in the Will.  An Estate Information Return will also have to be filed within 90 days of the Certificate being Issued.  Unfortunately, most jurisdictions in Ontario are quite backed up, and once the application is submitted to the Court, it is likely to take 2-4 months in order to receive the Issued Certificate.  It is important to note, that often it takes more time, gathering all asset documents, sending out the required notices and preparing the Estate Court Forms to be Submitted.

 

Probate Taxes in Ontario

 

Often there is confusion around probate tax in Ontario and whether or not Probate tax has to be paid for an estate.  It is confusing as there is no “death tax” in Ontario as there is in other jurisdictions in the works.  Alternatively, we do have to Estate Administration Tax in Ontario, also commonly referred to as Probate Tax.  The tax in Ontario is typically not a big concern as the rate of tax is cumulative and tops out at a maximum tier of 0.5%.  Therefore, currently in 2020, the Estate Administration Tax on an Estate valued at $1,000,000 is $14,250.00.  You can calculate the amount of Estate Administration Tax here using the Ontario Estate Administration Tax Calculator.

 

WILLS AND ESTATE LAWYER

 

If you or a loved one needs assistance with processing an estate, call an experienced Estate Lawyer at Pranzitelli Law Firm Today.  We offer a free 30 minute consultation, and can discuss all fees in detail with you, before a retainer is signed.    Call us Today.

 

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