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

Only residents of Ontario can apply to be an 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 , , or child.

Probate is the process that asks the court to confirm that a will is valid and that you have the right to deal with the as the estate trustee. If the court agrees, you get a certificate.

Duties of an estate trustee

There's information about the other duties of an estate trustee in My loved one died without a will. Can I apply to be their estate trustee? For example, some of the duties are to:

  • arrange for the funeral and burial or cremation
  • stop payments that end on death, like Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS), social assistance, and disability insurance payments
  • cancel the person's driver's licence, and their Social Insurance Number (SIN) and Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) cards
  • find and value all in the estate
  • pay any taxes and that are owed
  • file tax returns
  • distribute the property in the estate based on the

Process you follow

How you apply for probate depends on the value of the estate. If the value of the estate is:

Before you apply, it's a good idea to check if anyone else has started a probate application or has been given a certificate.

Get help

The steps to apply to become an 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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