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Ontario’s Probate Process: Navigating Estate Administration Without A Will

Ontario's Probate Process: Navigating Estate Administration Without A Will

Dying with a will means half of the estate administration’s burden has already diminished. However, dying without a will means the burden of estate administration is going to be multiplied as the loved ones will not only have to go through the process of settling deceased estate but also endure the lengthy probate court processes.

In today’s blog, we will take you through the steps involved in the probate process when there’s no will:

Understanding The Impact Of No Will: Intestate Status

If a person dies without a valid will, he is referred as intestate. Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act is the principle piece of legislation that deals with estate administration and execution. As per recent addition of Section 2.2 in the Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA), an application can be made to the Superior Court of Justice with regards to the validation of an improper will i.e. a will which is not in writing. The court may deem it valid if the intentions of a testator have been clearly set out in the will. Therefore, before initiating a probate process, you must see whether the will is valid or not.

How Can You Begin The Probate Process?

Here’s an overview of the estate process in Ontario when there is no will:

  • Application for Probate

Probate is mandatory if the deceased has passed away without a will. First of all, you need to file an application so that an estate trustee is appointed for the estate settlement who will be responsible for handling all estate matters. The trustee is also in charge of paying off outstanding debts, if any, owed by deceased to his/her creditors.

Do Check for Existing Applications: In contested estate matters, before filing an application in a probate court, one also needs to verify whether anyone else has already filed for the appointment of trustee because this will help falling your estate not in the wrong hands.

Priority of Applicants: In case the deceased has left without a will, the spouse or children of the deceased are given first priority to file for probate process. However, if deceased has no children, the parents can apply. After parents, the siblings of the deceased and close relatives can file.

  • Court Assessment

After the filing of application and submission of all necessary documents along with the application, the court will thoroughly asses the documentation and evidence before you are appointed as an estate trustee.

  • Issuance or Refusal of the Application

After court’s assessment of the required information and documentation you have provided, a certificate of “Appointment of Estate Trustee” will be issued.

If your application does not get approved, you will get Form 74O which is a written notice to the applicant on why the application to be appointed as estate trustee is refused.

Contact The Lawyers At Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation!

It’s important to note that probate is intensive and a difficult experience process as it may involve legal complexities, especially if there are disputes among potential beneficiaries or issues with asset distribution. The team of estate lawyers at Ayaz Mehdi Professional Corporation can help you settle all your estate concerns. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

Disclaimer:  Kindly note that sending or receiving information through this site does not establish a solicitor-client relationship. Legal matters are fact-specific, and the law is variably changing. The views expressed and the content provided on this blog are general guidelines and cannot substitute for proper legal advice. Schedule your legal consultation by clicking here: Let’s meet!


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