Estate Administration

Being appointed an Estate Trustee (or executor) can feel daunting. It is a serious commitment, and can be time-consuming and confusing. We are here to guide you, clarify your role, and assist you with what can be complex processes and decisions. We will advise you on your fiduciary obligations, and we will ensure you understand the risks and legal obligations that come with your role.

Duties of an Estate Trustee:

If you have been appointed as an Estate Trustee under a Will, the Will is the source of your authority, and your responsibilities begin as soon as the testator has passed away. There are several responsibilities, which begin with making funeral arrangements and advising various people and institutions of the death. We can assist you with your legal obligations and steps along the way, including:

  • Reviewing the Will

  • Reviewing the inventory of assets and liabilities

  • Determining whether a court application (for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will) is necessary

  • the preparation of the Application (if necessary)

  • Determining distribution to beneficiaries

  • Advising you with respect to the records and accounting required of an Estate Trustee

  • Your reporting obligations to beneficiaries

When is a Certificate of Appointment/”Probate” Required?:

The Will itself gives Estate Trustees their power and authority to act on behalf of the estate. However, often a Court process that legally confirms the Estate Trustee’s authority by granting a “Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will” is required to prove an Estate Trustee’s authority to a third party. This Certificate is commonly called Probate.

A Certificate/probate is required wherever a third party requires proof of an Estate Trustee’s authority to act. It is very commonly required where the deceased was the sole owner of real estate; where the deceased held a significant sum of money in his/her sole name; or where RRSPs or life insurance policies name the estate as the beneficiary. It is usually not required where all assets are owned jointly, or with respect to registered assets (or life insurance) for which a designated beneficiary exists.

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Address: 165 Cross Avenue, Suite 301 Oakville, ON, L6J 0A9

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