Learn what property is included in probate

What are probate fees and can I reduce them?
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Learn what property is included in probate

In general, all property that you own in your name only on the date you die has to be included when calculating probate fees.

This includes all real property that you own in Ontario such as land, houses, or other buildings. The value of the property is based on the fair market value on the date you die. Fair market value is the amount of money a reasonable person would pay for it.

If you own any real property as tenants-in-common, only your share of the value is included in your estate. And, if you own any real property in a joint tenancy, its value is not included in your estate. There is more information about this in Step 4 "Learn about owning real property with another person".

Other property that can be included when calculating probate fees are:

  • cash or money in bank accounts
  • investments such as registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) or tax-free savings accounts (TFSA) that don't have a designated beneficiary
  • personal property such as:
    • cars or trucks
    • clothing
    • jewellery
    • all collections, for example, coin, cards, and art work
    • furniture and other household items

Assets like art and jewellery are valued and included in your estate based on the fair market value on the date you die. Fair market value is the amount of money a reasonable person would pay for it.

Deductions

When calculating the amount of probate fees, you can subtract the value of debts that are owed on a mortgage or lien on property that is in Ontario.

You can't subtract the value of debts that are owed on a mortgage or lien on property that is outside Ontario. You also can't subtract the following debts:

  • credit card debt
  • car loans
  • lines of credit
  • any tax that you owe

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Reviewed: October 31, 2019

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