The Ontario Government recently announced a new email process for certificates of appointment of estate trustee (probate). Effective October 6, 2020, applications for a certificate of appointment of estate trustee (i.e. probate applications), supporting documents, and responding documents may be filed electronically by email to the Superior Court of Justice.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the court process that grants an Executor the authority to act on behalf of the deceased. Specifically, it involves:
- The formal approval of a will as the valid last will of the deceased; and
- The appointment of the Executor of the estate.
When is Probate Required?
Probate is not required in every instance. However, it will be necessary where:
- A Court approval is required to validate the will or the choice of Executor;
- The estate includes real estate that does not automatically vest in an individual like the spouse of the deceased; and
- A bank or other financial institution requires probate.
As set out on the Superior Court of Justice’s website, where email is used to file documents in probate applications:
- Applicants must complete a new Information Form and email it to the court together with the probate application.
- The application form and supporting documents (affidavits, consents, proof of death, renunciations, draft certificates, motions) should be submitted by email only.
- Original documents filed in support of the application (e.g. wills, codicils, bonds, ancillary certificates) and certified copies must be filed in hard copy by mail or courier to the Superior Court of Justice location where the application was filed or provided at the court office.
- Estate administration tax payments and any filing fees must also be sent by mail or courier to the court office or provided at the court office.
- Certificates of Appointment of Estate Trustee will be electronically issued and delivered by email to the address provided by the applicant.
It should be noted that the above process for emailing documents to the court does not apply to documents filed in estate litigation cases.
Additionally, applications filed prior to October 6, 2020 can be resubmitted to the court by email. The resubmission by email will allow an applicant to retain their position in the original queue and allow for the electronic issuance of a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee and delivery by email to the address provided by the applicant. Where documents are resubmitted by email, these documents will by relied upon by the court and court staff rather than any earlier paper document submissions.
Baker & Company has adopted all of the COVID-19 safety precautions and vulnerable employees have been invited to work from home. We are fully operational and continuing to work on client assignments. Where possible, meetings are being held via video link or by telephone conference.
When a loved one dies, allow Baker & Company to assist you with winding up and administering the Estate. We can offer practical advice and cost-effective services to ensure that the Estate is wound up to the best advantage of the beneficiaries. Call us at 416-777-0100 or contact us online for a consultation.