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How do I apply to be an estate trustee without a will?

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How do I apply to be an estate trustee without a will?
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Ontario Securities Commission

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How do I apply to be an estate trustee without a will?
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Reviewed: 
January 2, 2020
Answer

Only residents of Ontario can apply to be an estate trustee of a person who died without a will. And, there are rules that say the order in which people can apply. This is usually a spouse, common-law partner, or child.

A Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will confirms that the estate trustee has the legal right to deal with the estate.

The question "My loved one died without a will. Can I apply to be their estate trustee?" has more information on the other duties of an estate trustee. For example, some duties of an estate trustee are to:

  • arrange for the funeral and burial or cremation
  • stop payments that end on death, like Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, social assistance, and disability insurance payments
  • cancel driver's licence, and social insurance and OHIP cards
  • find and value all assets in the estate
  • pay any taxes and debts that are owed
  • file tax returns
  • distribute the property in the estate based on the intestacy rules

Get help

The steps to apply to become estate trustee can be complicated. You may want to get help from an estates lawyer and from an accountant. Their fees are usually paid from the estate if they're reasonable.

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