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How Long Does an Executor Have to Settle an Estate in Ontario?

The executor’s year is a unique opportunity for executors to execute their fiduciary responsibilities to the estate. While it isn’t a hard and fast rule, the executor’s year applies to the “average” estate. The executor of a simple estate has one year from the date of death or one year from the date of probate to distribute assets to beneficiaries such as property, gifts, and cash.

What exactly is probate?

Probate is the process by which a court grants permission to an executor to administer an estate. Probate may require an executor, often known as an “estate trustee.” 

How to obtain probate?

An executor will obtain a legal document called a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee if their application for probate is approved. This document certifies that the executor has the legal authority to manage the estate.

But how can you determine if probate is required? How can you do it?

  • You want to be the executor because the Will doesn’t mention one.
  • If a financial institution asks if you’re permitted to receive estate assets, you’ll need proof of your executor power.
  • Property that does not pass to a person by right of survivorship is considered an asset.
  • Your authority as executor is getting questioned.
  • You’re unsure if the Will is genuine.
  • Some beneficiaries are unable to give legal consent for a variety of reasons (say, if they are a minor or a person who is incapacitated)
  • If you’re unsure whether or not you need to petition for probate, speak with an estate lawyer for guidance. 

In Ontario, how long does probate take?

Probate in Ontario typically takes 6 to 8 weeks if there are no difficulties with the application. A probate application gets processed within 15 days, according to the Ministry of Attorney General. Within 15 days, court personnel will examine the application for missing documentation and investigate court records for applications submitted by another beneficiary. The court will provide a court file number to your Probate application. It can take up to a year for an executor to settle an estate after probate gets granted.

The length of time it takes to get a grant of probate is determined by how busy the court registry is. In Ontario, obtaining probate usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Because of errors or motions and objections submitted by parties, a probate grant took several months in some situations.

 How long does an executor settle an estate?

In Ontario, an executor should be able to settle an estate in one year. The executor is in charge of distributing funds as quickly as possible. However, the entire process takes time. As a result, executors may delay up to a year to disperse assets to beneficiaries. Depending on the complexity of the estate and the number of assets, estate settlement could take more than a year. An executor may require additional time to transfer different assets to settle an estate, such as real estate, mortgages, debts owed to the deceased, government or non-government entities.

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