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A primary consideration in the estate planning process should be the safe keeping of original planning documents (such as a will or a power of attorney). In Ontario, in order to obtain a grant of probate, the named estate trustee typically needs to provide the court with the original will, pursuant to the Estates Act.
As more Canadians are choosing to spend greater time abroad, it has become increasingly common for estates to include foreign-based assets upon death. From an estate law perspective, foreign-based assets can give rise to estate administration issues that are best addressed as part of an estate plan created in consultation with professional advisors.
When it comes to acting as executor of an estate, there is no shortage of responsibilities that should be carefully reviewed prior to accepting the role. One of the most fundamental duties is that all estate related income tax documents are filed and in good standing.
Currently, Ontario has the highest estate tax in Canada. Although there was a recent attempt to address this issue by setting a cap on the amount payable at $3,250.00, the private member's bill that proposed this amendment was voted down at second reading on Sept. 24, 2015.
When called upon to act as a personal representative, whether in the capacity of an attorney, executor, or trustee, the issue of compensation is often called into question. The basic starting point for executor or trustee compensation is the will or trust document.
As several of our previous entries address, the executor of an estate has many duties and obligations in the administration of a loved one's estate. Among these duties, is the obligation to locate all heirs who are entitled to share in the assets of the estate of the deceased.
Being named as the executor within an individual's last will and testament is sometimes perceived as an honour. However, it is important to understand that acting as the executor of an estate comes with significant responsibility.
The individual who is ultimately selected will be charged with administering your estate upon your death and, as a result, it is crucial that he or she is not only capable of doing so, but that the person selected is someone whom you can trust to uphold your final wishes to the best of his or her abilities.