Probate is one of those legal terms you have probably heard but you may be unsure what it means exactly. If you have been named executor of an individual’s Will, you will be expected to carry out the process known as probate.
In simple terms, probate is the formal approval of the Will by the Court as the last valid Will of the deceased. Probate will also confirm the authority of a person named as the estate trustee in the deceased’s Will. If the deceased owned property or had any assets at the time of their passing, Ontario law stipulates that you will likely need to apply for probate depending on the nature of those assets.
Not all estates need to be probated as certain exemptions apply for certain assets. It is imperative that you consult a lawyer that has experience in this area of the law to determine your obligations as an estate trustee. The estate trustee has important obligations to the estate and is responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased to the estate and its beneficiaries.
Legal Advice for Ontario Probate
Although you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to apply for probate, working with an experienced lawyer will ensure your application is handled professionally and efficiently. Your lawyer may also help you reduce your probate tax (Estate Administration Tax).|
The death of a loved one is an emotional experience. Sometimes the resulting obligations can be overwhelming. A lawyer will see that your administrative responsibilities to that person are fulfilled.
Other reasons when a person may apply for probate:
- The deceased person died without a Will
- The deceased’s Will does not name an estate trustee
- A financial institution wants proof of a person’s legal authority to receive the money or investments of the deceased
- The estate’s assets include real property which does not pass to another person by right of survivorship
- The deceased’s real property must be sold (a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee or a Small Estate Certificate should be obtained before anyone enters into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale to sell the real property of the deceased)
- There is a dispute about who should be the estate trustee
- There is a dispute or potential dispute about the validity of the Will
- Some beneficiaries named in the Will are not able to provide legal consent
A lawyer in Ontario can offer guidance to protect your best interests and assist in navigating issues that will undoubtedly arise in the course of probate.
An Ontario Lawyer Can Help
As outlined above being named the executor of a Will involves a fair amount of responsibility.
These responsibilities become more manageable with an experienced lawyer by your side who can advise you at every stage in the process. A lawyer that is familiar with the processes involved will save you time and money.
Vakili Law Group are experienced probate lawyers that have seen virtually every issue that can arise in the context of probating a Will. Let their team of experienced lawyers assist you with your next probate application.
Contact us today to discuss your probate needs in more detail.