A legal process through which a court confirms that

  • your Will is valid
  • the Will presented to the court is your "Last Will and Testament"
  • that the executor has the authority to administer the estate and distribute the assets

Drawbacks Of Probate

  • time
    • can take months or years to
      • identify all your assets (as the deceased)
        • bank accounts, shares, real estate, etc
      • list the assets in a prescribed manner
      • file documents with the right government departments
    • executor cannot settle the estate until complete
      • usually can't make disbursements in the interim, which may cause hardship for the beneficiaries
  • cost
    • like a death tax on the value of the assets in the estate of the deceased
  • loss of privacy
    • all documents become public record

Probate Fees

Probate fees vary by province. They are paid to a court, usually from the proceeds of your estate.

In Ontario, probate fees are

  • $5 per $1,000 for the first $50,000, plus
  • $15 per $1,000 on the balance

Bypassing Probate

  • permitted for life insurance contracts, including segregated funds unless the named beneficiary is the estate of the deceased
  • permitted for RRSPs and RRIFs if the beneficiary is the spouse (confirm)


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