How do I apply for a certificate of appointment with a will?

As an named in a will, you may have to apply for probate or a certificate of appointment. This means that you prove to the court that the will is valid and that you as the estate trustee have the right to deal with the .

Not all wills have to be probated. If the estate is small and does not include any , the will itself may be enough. But you may have to probate if, for example:

  • a bank or another financial institution requires probate to release money in the person's bank account
  • there is real property held by the person as sole owner or that you need to sell
  • family, relatives, or friends disagree about whether the will is valid

The question “I’ve been named an estate trustee in a will. What do I have to do?” has more information on the other duties of an estate trustee. For example, you may have to also:

  • arrange for the funeral and burial or cremation
  • stop payments that end on death, like CPP, OAS, social assistance, and disability insurance payments
  • cancel driver's licence, social insurance and 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 what the will says

Get legal help

The steps to probate a will are 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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