Ontario Estate Information Return 90 Day Deadline – Who’s Aware?

ontario estate information return

I recently received a call from a lady that is handling her father’s estate. She is the Trustee and along with everything else, was responsible for selling his home. On his death she went to her lawyer, filed the appropriate paperwork, paid the Estate Administration Tax (EAT, previously probate) and request for Certificate of Appointment. When the house was sold she went back to the same lawyer to finalize the sale and the lawyer asked her if she had filed the Estate Information Return as the 90 days was almost up? 90 day deadline – who’s aware of this? Certainly not the lady who contacted me!

Her lawyer actually recommended she speak with me to see if I could help her. From meeting with a number of lawyers and attending a recent tax course there is the recurring comment that the Law Society of Ontario has told lawyers that they are not responsible for reminding clients of their 90 day deadline coming due. I have no information as to whether lawyers are informing their clients that there is even a 90 day deadline.

The problem the Trustee ran into was due to the change in the value of the Estate. When she completed the Estate Information Return there were some discrepancies from the original EAT filed. And on further investigation she found out she needed to supply a notarized affidavit indicating in detail what caused the variance from what she had originally paid and what she owed now. In her case some amounts were increased i.e. value of the house, and others decreased, value of automobile and boat. The Ministry would not accept the additional payment without the notarized affidavit.

Because of the penalties in not filing on time, and not filing accurately the 90 day deadline can cause extreme stress and potential errors in an already stressful time. There have been a number of articles written concerning the 90 day deadline.

Funeral Directors
Ontario Bar Association Estate Administration Tax
Toronto Star

When dealing with an Estate and the complications and deadlines that can arise, always seek the guidance of a professional. A common expression to explain the dilemma you could find yourself in is – You don’t know, what you don’t know! I am here to help.

As always, I welcome your feedback. Share your experiences with my readers.

Until next time,


Estate Information Return for Estate Executors/Trustees – Part 2

personal and business estate executor trustee Ontario

Following on my previous blog post on this subject, I really hadn’t expected that a Part 2 would be required in explaining the Estate Information Return, and what other issues might surface. But there is much more for you to know if you’re taking on the responsibility as Executor/Trustee (E/T). Continue reading

Ontario Executors/Trustees – The New Estate Information Return

Executor Trustee Ontario

Are you an estate executor or trustee in Ontario? Here’s what you need to know, now! Effective January 1, 2015 Ontario Executors/Trustees (E/T) who applied for Probate, now called Estate Administration Tax (EAT) must also file the new Estate Information Return within 90 days of receiving the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.

Previously an E/T only had to estimate the total value of the estate, and provide a sworn affidavit. No supporting documentation was required. The administration of the fee was handled by the Ministry of the Attorney General. That responsibility and collection has now been transferred to the Ministry of Revenue/Finance. This is the department that used to collect Ontario’s PST. The government believes under the old system asset values were conservatively estimated, significantly underestimated or not considered at all. Continue reading

7 Qualities of a Good Executor/Trustee & Planned Estate

personal estate executor trustee Ontario

Whether you are an Executor/Trustee (E/T) or looking to ask someone to take on the responsibility for your Estate, the personal qualities necessary for both are very similar. When a potential customer asks me if I would consider being their E/T, I interview them just as they have interviewed me. So here is an abbreviated list of what I consider to be the 7 qualities of an ideal customer and an ideal E/T. Continue reading

Patience Required When Acting as Estate Executor/Trustee (E/T)

personal estate executor Ontario

I am currently acting as the Estate Executor for a widower. Almost all of his substantial estate was kept in investments in the four major banks and one securities investment company. There are numerous lists indicating the qualities that a good E/T should have, and I’ve even written a few of them. But one of the key qualities that is now noticeably missing from the lists is patience! Every good and effective E/T must possess a great deal of patience. Continue reading

Power of Attorney – Rising Incidence of Elder Abuse

POA for Personal Care

Almost weekly I come across an article or presentation about the rising incidence of Elder Abuse in our society. Police forces have programs to educate the public. Senior’s organizations and advocacy groups are becoming more vocal in helping to identify the warning signs and offering support. If you’ve given a relative or friend Power of Attorney (POA) for Personal Care or Property could you also be giving power to potential abusers? Or if you are the person with the responsibility of a POA do you understand your responsibilities and expectations, or could someone interpret what you’re doing as abusive? Continue reading

Estate Executor/Trustee Compensation or Fees

executor Ontario

There are a number of considerations when determining and paying Estate Executor/Trustee (ET) Compensation, also known as a Fee.

The responsibilities of an ET are numerous and can be very time consuming. Some of the responsibilities require immediate attention, while others can take months or years to settle. Funeral arrangements, sale of a house, handling investments, preparation of tax returns, locating beneficiaries and dealing with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) are just a few of the basic requirements in administering the estate. And during this time accurate and extensive records must be kept with all pertinent documentation. As the ET or Administrator you are entitled to compensation, which the court has developed as a guideline of 5% of the value of the estate in Ontario. But that’s not to say the ET can’t request an additional amount if the work and time involved has been beyond the normal scope of managing the estate. The court can also rule against the full 5% requested by the ET if it is deemed too much. The Superior Court of Justice will have input, along with some of the named Beneficiaries. Continue reading

What is a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee?

responsibilities of estate trustee

click image to enlarge

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. Continue reading

Executor/Trustee Responsibilities – Continuing my Journey with Myrtle

estate executor OntarioIn my last blog post, I introduced my client Myrtle. My responsibility of Executor/Trustee for Myrtle’s estate was only a part of my relationship with this wonderful woman. My journey with her developed from our first conversation in 2008 and even in her 91st year I knew she was a lady that continued to be very aware of politics, what was going on in her community and how to stretch a dollar.  She made sure she read the weekly flyers to see what was on special for that week and was frustrated that the sales at Shoppers Drug Mart didn’t start until Saturday when all the others started on Friday.  She walked or took the bus everywhere she wanted to go.  She thought taxis were too expensive no matter how bad the weather was. Continue reading

Personal Estate Executor Decisions – My Journey with Myrtle

personal estate executor Ontario

My journey first started with Myrtle in the late spring of 2008. Myrtle had asked her financial planner to take a look at her 2007 tax return. She couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t getting a larger refund. She always got a refund. And since she made quarterly tax installments she knew something wasn’t right. The financial planner told Myrtle he took his client’s tax returns to a professional and thought it would be a good idea if she took a look at it to see if there was an error. That someone was me.

Myrtle had done her tax returns herself every year. She typed her copy and the CRA copy – no photocopier or carbon paper was used. She was old school and when I say “old school”, Myrtle was in her 90th year of life. I took a look at her return, compared it to the Notice of Assessment she had received from the CRA and all the numbers were exact. I then went through all her paperwork which was extensive, and determined where the error was. She had forgotten to include her generous donations in her calculations that year. Continue reading