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What is Probate?

The “Probate” process, which is now called an “Application for a Certificate of Appointment of the Estate Trustee with [or without] a Will”, is not a difficult process, however, the Court, specifically the Estates Registrar, is extremely unforgiving about mistakes in the application. Therefore, it is a good idea to get assistance from an experienced wills and estates lawyer when making the application to Court.

The application process can be broken down into the following general 4 steps:
  1. Obtain and review the original Will (and codicil(s), if any) of the deceased;
  2. Create a list of assets and liabilities of the deceased as of the date of death.  Collect all the information you can about the finances of the deceased.  If you do not yet know exact balances, then give an estimate;
  3. Prepare draft application documents.  Some documents must be sworn in front of a Notary or Commissioner, therefore this is a good time to meet with a wills and estates lawyer to review the application documents;
  4. Finalize the documents, prepare the bank draft for the Estate Administration Tax, and submit the application package to the Estates Registrar of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The time for processing of the application varies depending on the county or district. Thus, it is important to review your application package for possible errors before submitting it to the Estate Registrar. 

If you are the Estate Trustee, then we are more than happy to help you with the application process.