Estate Administration

Estate administration can be complex and full of risk. With decades of experience, Allan Law can assist in every legal aspect of estate administration including assisting estate trustees, probate applications, survivorship applications, acting on behalf of beneficiaries, and passing of account applications.

Probate Applications

Many wills require what is now formally known as making an “Application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with (or without) a Will”. However, because the name is so lengthy, the process of making this Application is still commonly referred to as “probate” or “probating a will”.

The Certificate is needed to administer certain assets, such as real estate in Ontario held in the deceased’s own name or bank and investments accounts with a balance in excess of $50,000.00. If an individual dies without a will and has assets, it is almost certainly the case that probate is required. Without a will, no one has the legal authority to act on behalf of an estate and that authority must be granted by the court.

With our focus on estate administration, we are equipped to assist you with all steps of the probate application process.

Estate Trustee Management

Even the most straightforward estates can present unique challenges and complications. Acting as an estate trustee is a significant, time-consuming undertaking and carries with it the potential for personal liability. Estate trustees need to clearly understand their roles, responsibilities, and duties in managing estates.

At Allan Law, we focus on estate administration in Aurora and the GTA, allowing us to legally advise you about all aspects involved in your role as an estate trustee. We assist you in meeting your obligations and safeguard you from any potential liability while you administer the estate.

We are involved in all aspects of estate administration. You can retain Allan Law simply to assist in obtaining a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with or without a Will (formerly called Letters Probate or Letters of Administration) or to assist throughout the ongoing management of an estate.

Our Services Include

Reviewing a deceased’s Last Will and Testament

Advising you of your duties and responsibilities as estate trustee

Obtaining probate

Advising and assisting in securing the assets of the estate

Advertising for creditors and assist in settling debts

Reporting to beneficiaries on your behalf about the administration of the estate

Providing advice regarding interim distributions

Preparing estate accounts and calculate your compensation

Preparing and obtaining releases from beneficiaries (a release is a legal instrument which, when executed, acts to terminate any liability against the estate trustee)

Assisting in obtaining the necessary tax clearances from the CRA

Dealing with any issues that may arise in the administration

Passing of Accounts

One of the more common areas of dispute between trustees and beneficiaries involves accounting. Essentially, an accounting involves a trustee reporting to the beneficiaries on the management of the estate. This can protect both the beneficiaries and the trustees.

At Allan Law, we assist both trustees in preparing accounts and in reviewing accounts presented to beneficiaries. We can help ensure trustees prepare accurate and informative reports and provide beneficiaries with suitable knowledge necessary to review them. Call if you have any questions or concerns about the maintenance and passing of an estate’s accounts.

Survivorship Applications

When someone dies holding property jointly with another person(s), title can be transferred to the survivors without the need for probate. The application to transfer title in these circumstances is a Survivorship Application. Since joint tenants are often spouses or partners, as well as friends or family, these applications often happen at emotional and difficult periods. At Allan Law we are equipped to make this application process as smooth and efficient as possible, saving you time and hassle.

Advice to Beneficiaries

Allan Law frequently acts for beneficiaries who wish to retain independent counsel to assist in the administration of an estate. Such clients may feel that the estate is not being managed properly by the trustee and want to have their own counsel involved in its administration to help protect their interests. We are involved in all aspects of overseeing the management of an estate, including with respect to reviewing accounts, releases, and advocating for the timely and effective management of an estate. Through our advice, you can feel assured an estate is being cared for responsibly.

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