In Ontario, after a person dies there are multitude of legal and financial matters that ought to be handled, the complexity of which mostly depends on the size and value of the estate. If those matters are not handled properly, costly and sometimes devastating financial and legal consequences may ensue. Dealing with those legal and financial matters while grieving is often a trying and challenging task.
We understand the stresses and emotions associated with administration of the estate of a loved one and commit our energy, efforts, and resources at helping the executor or trustee discharge their obligations to the estate and beneficiaries.
Often individuals take the time and talk to the ones closest to them about their wishes. We always advice our clients to speak with the person(s) that they appoint in their Wills as estate trustees about where they have kept their final Wills and Testaments. The first duty of estate trustee after passing of the testator is to locate the original Will and review it.
Sometimes, however, individuals pass without having a valid Will or the Will cannot be located. The Court can help appoint one or more trustee or executor for the estate, who can then administer the estate and divide the assets and properties of the deceased among his or her family.
One of the first steps in administering the estate of a deceased person is obtaining a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee, also known as letters probate or letters of administration. We can help you obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee in circumstances where the deceased had a Will, did not have a Will, or had two or more concurrent Wills. The Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (with or without a will) confirms your authority to administer the estate.
By probating the estate (obtaining the Certificate), the trustee has the Court’s approval and certificate to act as the representative of the estate of the deceased and transfer ownership of assets and properties. With a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee, the trustee can ensure that the deceased’s wishes are carried out and that the estate’s obligations, such as income tax or debts owed to creditors, are fulfilled.