Applying For Probate

When a loves one passes away, the questions we often receive is: Where do I apply for probate and what is the process?

When a person dies they may leave behind belongings, real estate and other assets which is called their estate.

In Ontario, an estate trustee is the only person with the legal authority to manage or distribute an estate.

Probate is a procedure to ask the court to:

  • give a person the authority to act as the estate trustee of an estate; or
  • confirm the authority of a person named as the estate trustee in the deceased’s will
  • formally approve that the deceased’s will is their valid last will.

If your probate application is successful, the court will issue a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee, which is proof that a person has the legal authority to deal with the estate and – if there is a will – is proof that the will is valid.

A probate Certificate is not always required in order to administer an estate. Before starting an application for probate you may wish to determine whether the person or institution holding estate assets or requiring a payment or action by the estate requires a Certificate. A person might apply for a probate Certificate if:

  • 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
  • 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.

Only one Certificate can be issued by the court. Contact our office at 416 847 1859 to assist you with the process.

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