Entries by Maureen

What Happens If You Die Without a Will in Ontario? “Intestate”

If a spouse or family member dies without a last Will or Testament the estate is called “Intestate”. Without authority to administer the tax affairs of the deceased, Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act determines how the estate will be distributed.  If you die without a Will, only blood relatives, including children born outside of marriage, or legally adopted children can inherit.  Half-blood relatives share equally with whole-blood relatives.

3 Points to Include in a Will

Over the holidays a gentleman contacted me about the Executor/Trustee services I offer. He had recently been responsible for the estate of 2 friends, both male and in their early 50s, who had suddenly died. He decided he needed to “get his things in order” and wanted to know how it worked if he appointed me. There were 3 points that needed to be added to his Will in order to work with me as his Executor/Trustee.

5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Estate Trustee/Executors

In the past month I’ve received numerous calls and emails about Estate Trustees and Executors asking pretty much the same questions. I thought I would compile a list of those questions, with answers, to help determine if my services are a fit with your needs. Any reference to courts and law are based on those in the Province of Ontario.

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

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!

Estate Information Return for Estate Executors/Trustees – Part 2

As I’ve mentioned previously, dealing with the banks and other investment offices, and actually receiving the money that belongs to the Estate, can be a challenge. Two banks in particular I had to follow-up with because they hadn’t gotten back to me, in almost 60 days! After signing paperwork in early June they said it was all in the hands of the Estate division of their banks. But that wasn’t quite the whole picture. One bank representative had taken a month off and the other was off on compassionate leave and no was available to help me, so they said. Furthermore, the Estate Information Return was due.

7 Qualities of a Good Executor/Trustee & Planned Estate

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.

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

You would think that since the banks are highly regulated that the process in handling Estates would be consistent. It is challenging to walk through the maze of bureaucracy and reporting. If you don’t have a great deal of patience and time you may want to reconsider taking on the responsibility of being an E/T. It’s not an honour to be asked, it’s an all-consuming job.

Power of Attorney – Rising Incidence of Elder Abuse

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?