I’ve been named estate trustee in a will. How do I apply for a certificate?Updated January 1
1. Fill out the probate application form
Probate is a process that asks the court to confirm that a will is valid, and that the has the right to deal with the . If the court agrees, you get a certificate.
How you apply for probate depends on the value of the estate. If the value of the estate is:
- $150,000 or less, apply for probate through the simplified small estate court process
- more than $150,000, apply for probate through the regular court process
The forms you use to apply ask you to list the estate and , and their value. This means that you must find and value all of the assets and debts. If some assets, like real estate, art, or jewellery need to be valued, you have to arrange for that.
Assets are valued based on their fair market value on the date of the person's death. Fair market value is the amount a reasonable person would pay. Make sure you keep copies of any estimates you get by experts or appraisers.
You must include the following documents with your probate application:
- the original will
- anything that was added to the will that explains, changes, or revokes the will or part of it
- proof that the person has died
Small estate court process
You must fill out the following forms:
- Form 74.1A Application for a Small Estate Certificate
- Form 74.1B Request to File an Application
- Affidavits as required, for example, the Form 74D Affidavit of Execution or Form 74E Affidavit of Condition
- Form 74.1C Small Estate Certificate
Regular court process
Starting January 1, 2022, you must use Form 74A Application for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.
The application asks for a lot of information, including:
- where and when the person died
- details about whether they were single, , or divorced
- the value of the estate