In my last blog post, I discussed the responsibilities of being an estate trustee and even though this will be my final installment relating to my friendship and position of Trustee for the Estate of Myrtle, the story is long from finished. I am currently waiting for the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee. This is a document issued by the court which gives me the authority to administer the provisions of Myrtle’s Will. Since I need to apply through the Toronto court system the wait time is approximately 3 months from application to approval.
Since my last blog I’ve had everything removed from her retirement residence. Some furniture went to consignment, other items were donated, jewelry and coins were appraised. Since I cannot open an Estate bank account until I receive the Certificate of Appointment I had the bank prepare a draft, paid directly to the Funeral Home for Myrtle’s funeral. This is also the process for Estate Administration Tax (previously known as probate) payable to the Ministry of Finance. There are a number of expenses a bank or trust company can take from the deceased’s funds for direct payments, but they are limited and seem to vary by the financial institution. I will be reimbursed by the Estate for expenses that I have paid personally i.e. cost for help in removing everything from her retirement residence, jewelry appraisal, notice of death posted in Toronto paper etc., once I open the Estate bank account. It is extremely important that all documentation be kept organized with great detail.
One of the many responsibilities of the Trustee is to maintain the value of the Estate. I’m receiving cheques from her furniture consignments, applied for the CPP death benefit, cancelled her OHIP card, returned the Rogers TV/phone box, monitor statements from her investments, and have completed and submitted her 2014 tax return to name just a few.
As I have mentioned previously it used to be considered an honour to be appointed Power of Attorney (POA) or Executor/Trustee. With the changing laws accountability has intensified, and strict timeliness and detailed reporting is not for those that have organizational challenges. Determining each step to be taken with” how and when” preceding each question creates great challenges. It’s just not as simple or straight forward as it appeared a decade ago.
Effective January 1, 2015 an Estate Information Return must be filed and received by the Ministry of Finance within 90 days after a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee has been issued. This does not apply to anyone who applied for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee prior to January 1, 2015. There is a requirement to file an Information Return even if the value of the estate is equal to or less than $1,000 and no estate administration tax is payable.
I’m looking forward to the day when I can fulfill the actual wishes or Myrtle’s Will, which is distribution to the beneficiaries. In the meantime I will attempt to maintain if not grow the value of her estate, continue to produce the ongoing required documentation and reporting, that will likely last another 9 months. I do see the light of her kindness and generosity at the end of this journey. Myrtle, I hope I’m living up to your expectations and wishes. You are greatly missed by many.
Have you been charged with the responsibility of Power of Attorney or Executor/Trustee. I welcome your feedback. You can connect with me via email, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.
Until next time,